Devotional – An Idol Named Jim

1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. In more ways than one. First, with my devotional time. Second, with my exercise routine. I have been lamenting my loss of passion for the gym (what I call “Jim”). I went on a cruise a couple weeks ago, gained 8 pounds in those 7 blissful days and have not managed to get myself back to a good workout/eating right schedule since I’ve been back. But NOT being at the gym so much this past week has made me realize a few things.

The past year or so, exercise has become a HUGE portion of my life. I spend 8-10 hours a week visiting “Jim”. Not getting my time in lately has caused some unexpected results. My house is clean. I’m spending more time playing with my children, errands are done, I’m talking to my mom and sisters more, I’m back in the word in my devotional time. I’m feeling very convicted this morning that my enthusiasm for weight loss has become something more. It’s become an idol.

From “Jesus Calling” – “To find Me and hear My voice, you must seek Me above all else. Anything that you desire more than Me becomes an idol. When you are determined to get your own way, you blot Me out of your consciousness. Instead of single-mindedly pursuing some goal, talk with Me about it.”

I have thought of my pursuit of a healthy weight as a good thing. But as I’ve neared my goal the past couple months, I think I’ve become obsessive a little about it. Not much can keep me from my workout time – it’s at the top of my priority list just about every day. When I’m not working out, I’m thinking about it. I’m reading books about better maximizing my time with “Jim”. I absolutely have done what my devotion talked about today. That number on the scale has become my biggest desire. I have single-mindedly, aggressively been pursuing it. Somewhere along the way, I failed to recognize that God might have something to say on the subject.

We don’t really think about idols much these days. It’s not like I have a mini-treadmill plated in gold that I bow down and worship every day…right? But instead of saving my best for God, I’m giving it to Jim. Instead of focusing my day on how to best use my gifts and talents to serve the Lord, I’m planning out circuit training, counting push-ups and figuring out if I’ll get more time with Jim if I do a morning or evening workout. It’s all just way out of whack.

Since my daughter is sick, again today I won’t be working out. Instead of allowing my loss of Jim time to be at the front of my mind all day – I’m going to turn the whole exercise/weight loss thing over to God each time I think of it. Something I should have done long ago is seek the Lord in this area. Turn my weight goals over to Him. I know that if my goals fit into His plans, He’ll be my biggest help in reaching them. And if my desires are outside what He has planned for me, my heart can be changed. I’m sure seeking Him first (instead of Jim) is going to produce much better and longer lasting results than any amount of time on a treadmill.

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