Lose the Weight!
by Shauna Wallace
As women, we give so much weight to our weight! Many of us remain in a perpetual pursuit of the book or method that delivers the magical mix of eating and exercise for attaining that perfect number on the scale. I am one who has done so for a lifetime.
I don’t remember the exact day or what I was doing, but I do remember battling the all-too-familiar feeling of being fat. Heavy.
It’s an again that’s followed me since high school. I’m in my late forties, so we’re talking decades. My answer in my teens and early twenties was bulimia – eat and get rid of it at any cost. When it became clear it could cost me my life, I gave up the physical binging and purging just as secretly as I’d indulged in it, but the thought processes that fueled the behavior remained.
I felt hopeless and…
…handicapped to ever really be available to be used by God. As habit would have it, instead of dealing with my sin, I focused on the imperfections in my physical appearance so I wouldn’t have to get honest about the imperfections of my inside life!
Clear as day, the Lord spoke the words directly to me:
“Shauna, the weight isn’t the weight.”
It wasn’t an audible voice, but the message pierced my heart to the place where truth takes root and lies eventually get the boot!
He stopped me in my tracks and turned my attention to fact not feeling.
There was not a single extra pound on my frame; the weight I was carrying was the weight of sin. The weight of disappointment. The weight of regret. The weight of neglecting God’s instruction to me. The weight of not doing what I know to do and doing what I know not to do. The weight of guilt. The weight of trying to perform so I can impress myself and others. The weight of self-reliance and trying to wrestle and maintain the illusion of control.
Then God brought to mind Hebrews 12:1:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…
We can’t run tangled up in sin! We can still manage to move around, albeit clumsily and with limited mobility. But to run? We’ve got to be untangled and free!
How? How do we lay aside every weight and the sin that ensnares us? Especially when it’s as engrained in us as my lifetime of focusing on weight as my worth? And when culture affirms the things that easily ensnare us?
Hebrews 12:2 answers:
…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We lay aside what weighs us down by faith in Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith! By fixing our eyes on Him and His promises.
This has even greater weight when you consider what precedes the therefore of Hebrews 12:1, which follows an entire chapter that reminds us of weak, flawed people like you and me who lived according to faith: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). They lived “by faith,” a phrase repeated eighteen times to describe how these spiritual heroes secured a spot in the Hall of Faith! No one made it because they were skinny and beautiful, because they ate the right balance of foods and maintained a socially acceptable size and shape. Seriously!
I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Hebrews 11! Below are a few of the scriptures that speak loudly to my spirit and soul (all emphasis added by me). The words or phrases in bold contain eight truths that help me give worthy weight to God’s word and tip the scales of my faith:
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11: 3).
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (verse 6).
By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised (verse 11).
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth (verse 11).
…choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin (verse 25).
Eight Truths to Tip the Scales of Faith
- Our faith and our truth – the way we perceive ourselves and others and circumstances – must be framed by the word of God.
- Without faith, we can’t please God. Ever. And everything He requires, requires faith because that’s how He’s pleased.
- To have faith is to believe who God is, what He says and that He’ll do what He promises.
- God rewards diligent seeking not perfection or performance.
- Faith brings strength.
- When we judge God faithful, the impossible becomes possible.
- Faith is choosing to act as if it’s all truth, even if circumstances and feelings would convince us otherwise.
- Faith is choosing to identify with Christ rather than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.
What do we give weight to in our lives? What do we want our “by faith” to say? Here’s one of mine:
“By faith, Shauna gave up the pleasures of sin and control to trust the faithfulness of God, and she walked free of bondage to food and body.”
It’s the Christmas season, so I have a gift for you! Go to www.shaunawallace.com and enter your email address where it says “Sign Up!” to receive a free copy of Day 10 of my newest Bible study, 30 Days to Living a God Life not Just a Good Life! It contains a “By Faith” exercise to help you encounter the faithfulness of God to overcome your impossible. Every time I complete it (and I’ve done so numerous times) it takes my focus off me and what’s weighing me down and puts my focus on what has eternal weight:
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Beautiful woman of God, your substance has nothing to do with your weight or physical appearance (Psalm 139:15-16)! Lay aside every weight, including the one on the scale, and any sin that trips you up and freely run the race God’s given you. Find strength by faith in Jesus, who gives us joy to endure.