With each new day, we have a new chance. A new chance to eat better, to act better, to BE better! I used to wonder why, since God created us and made us all that we are, then why didn’t He just make us perfect to start with and we wouldn’t have to go through all that we do. Stop and think about that. What would the world be like if everyone was perfect? I don’t believe freewill would be showing its face and it would probably be like a world of robots. There would be nothing to work towards, nothing to attain. More importantly, I believe that God wants us to come to Him and love Him because we WANT to, not because of pre-programming.
So, in your imperfection, work toward that goal. The last sentence in Matthew 5 says “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” He WANTS us to be perfect, as our heavenly Father is? That’s a pretty lofty goal for me… But even in my imperfection, I know one day in eternity, I will attain that ultimate goal and finally be exactly what God always knew I could be. Meanwhile, I will rely on His grace and mercy as I travel through this earthly life, making progress until that day of perfection comes.
In His light,
“With every New Year, comes new promises we make to ourselves. We often promise to eat healthier, exercise more or to be better organized. Instead of self-promises, let’s make some promises to God together – a promise prayer to foster hope and a renewed spirit in each of us.
God, we promise to embrace life together and offer encouragement to each other. Let us persevere with a focus on the race marked for us. Help us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
God, we praise you for your steadfast love and for creating us in your own image. It was you, of course, who gave us the most precious promise of all – the promise of eternal life, a new life in Christ.
Amen.” (A Promise Prayer – Dayspring)
Progress, Not Perfection
When your progress wavers, pay attention. What causes setbacks with your food or fitness? Is it when you get too busy? Is it when you don’t get enough sleep? Notice patterns, cycles, and reactions—not to make yourself feel guilty, but so you have valuable information from which to make healthier decisions in the future.
We all make mistakes. When we track our victories as well as setbacks, we see that God’s grace is sufficient, and his love is bigger than any of our weaknesses. If you have a bad day with any of the Essentials, don’t be upset; instead, view that as a great opportunity to learn to use as insight for tomorrow.
One of the best ways to make steady progress is to track your progress. (For ideas, go to page 176 in The Daniel Plan book.) To help you make consistent daily, weekly, and monthly progress, monitoring and/or tracking your efforts is important. In fact, in multiple studies, individuals who monitored their exercise habits significantly improved their behavior and likelihood of accomplishing their goals.
When it comes to food, a choice as simple as smart snacking can show you how daily progress builds momentum and leads to long-term success. Smart snacking means choosing something with protein and avoiding sugar. Here are some great grab-and-go ideas:
· Stock your fridge with healthy dips (hummus, guacamole), low-sugar fruits, Greek yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs.
· Carry a small cooler and ice packs in your car for food items that need to stay cold.
· Toss together a bean salad with olive oil, herbs, salt, pepper, and spices such as cumin, onion, or shallot.
· Stock mini-packets of nut butters.
· Stock healthy jerky (salmon, turkey, grass-fed beef, bison, organic, without added nitrates or MSG).
· Make organic air-popped popcorn.
· Drink plenty of water. Sometimes you are dehydrated, not hungry.
As you focus on progress, not perfection, you will be equipped to run the race God has set for you. Trust him, and trust the friends who are with you on this journey. Be brave enough to be authentic—to reveal your issues and graciously accept the weaknesses of others. Foster a community where every friend is not afraid to ask for help—starting with yourself.