Simple Secrets

Colossians 3:1-3

I recently saw a new patient in my office. During the course of the preliminary examination, he mentioned that he had lost over 100 pounds in the previous 10 months. Impressive by any standards!

I wondered which diet program he had utilized. “Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers?” No, he hadn’t participated in any commercial diet program. “Was it the Fen-phen diet? Or did you use Redux, the new miracle diet drug?” He stated that he had not been to a doctor for several years, and therefore did not have access to prescription drugs.

Now I began to get excited. Here was a man who had lost 100 pounds in 10 months and was not part of any system. This could be revolutionary.

“So tell me, what is your secret? We could tell others and really help many people who are struggling with their weight. How did you lose so much weight in so little time?” He answered me in four words. His revolutionary new diet? “I ate less food.”

This man had decided that he was tired of being overweight and had made up his mind that he was going to lose weight. In an area where so many people struggle year after year, trying every new fad and gimmick with little success, this man just did it. He wanted this more than anything else, so he set his course and accomplished his goal.

In the spiritual realm, I wonder why so many struggle with being holy. We try support groups, read new books and attend seminars. And yet year after year, we are disappointed by how little true progress we have made at becoming like Christ.

In his book, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, William Law suggests why we have not come as far as the early Christians. “If you will stop here and ask yourself why you are not so devoted as the primitive Christians, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.”

That’s it. If we want to be holy, we must thoroughly intend to be holy, which includes rearranging our priorities in the light of God’s Word. We must desire with all our hearts to please God in everything we do, at work, in our studies and with our leisure time. We cannot generate this desire, but must ask the Holy Spirit to give it to us.

Once again, we are drawn back to the simple truths. Want to lose weight? Eat less food. Want to become holy? Take time to be holy. Set your heart and mind on things above.

David E. Winters, M.D., The War Cry

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