“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."
~Matthew 22:36-39 (NLT)
Happy Wednesday !
I am sure when you read this passage of scripture you get the “the love the Lord your God” part and the “love your neighbor" part but did you notice that this scripture challenges us to love ourselves?
I know that is not how this passage is typically taught. I am often challenged on this statement. The argument most often is that we do not need to worry about loving ourselves because humans are inherently selfish. But here's the thing: selfishness is NOT self-love so when I say that this scripture is teaching us an important principle about self-love, I am not talking about being selfish.
Here is what I believe: Jesus wants us to love others in the same way that He does - an agape kind of love. From what I have studied, agape love is not about putting everyone else's needs ahead of yours to the point of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Nor is agape love is not about stroking egos, making people feel good or giving them everything they want (and feeling guilty when you don't or can't).
Agape love is the love that Christ demonstrated towards us, a love that prioritizes what is good for the person and their development, not what feels good. He does not always give us what we want and as my mom is famous for saying "He prioritizes our character over our comfort." If that is true, (I see countless examples in my life and I am sure you do too), then loving others properly - in a way that furthers God's plan for their life - requires that I learn to love myself in the same way. You see, we can only give what we have. If I have an unhealthy view of self-love (i.e. selfishness or completely selfless), the love I give to others will be unhealthy too.
Just like Algebra must precede Calculus, you must learn to love yourself before you can properly love others. That means learning to do what is in your ultimate best interest even when it does not feel good or is inconvenient. When you can do that, you will love others in that way and:
You see, having goals, speaking up for yourself, and knowing what you need to do to be successful is not selfish and always pushing your goals to the side for others is not healthy. In Christian circles, it is easy to deem selflessness as the ultimate form of kindness, but that is not what Jesus modeled for us.
So I challenge the assertion that in order to be a "good Christian" we have to run around like a chicken with our heads cut off meeting other people's needs and always sacrificing our own. Now, hopefully, you do too.
Again, I'm not here to throw shade. I am on a journey with God too. You pray for me and I'll pray for you.
Until next time,
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Over the last week I have had a series of reminders about communication that I want to share:
Until next time,
It's no secret, birds of a feather flock together, but did you know that research has found that how much we EAT, DRINK, AND EXERCISE are THE MOST socially contagious behaviors??? Simply put, who we hang around has the potential to have a BIG influence on whether we stick to our health and fitness goals or fall off the wagon.
To increase your chances of success, here are a few things to consider:
1) Hang around people that have common goals - people that are also making a serious effort to improve their eating and exercise habits. Join a support group or running club for example.
2) Bring your lunch - a tasty but nutritious one - and stick to your decision to eat what you packed. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you!
3) If you're eating out, don't ask everyone else what they're ordering and be the one who orders first! If you check in with your crew, chances are you will hear something that piques your interest and will be tempted to follow suit. Ordering first keeps you from changing your mind after you hear what others order.
By following these tips, you can easily save 250-500 calories a MEAL and stay on track to reach your goals.
Ever wonder why you find yourself staring at the same problem over and over again? You are not alone. It's not at all uncommon, in fact it's almost inevitable. Allow me to explain.
Back in my days as a corporate trainer, I taught this course about the fundamentals of selling. One of the key principles I taught was "the past predicts the future." The concept was simple: Ask questions about the what and the why of customer's past buying decisions, because chances were that the very same drivers and motivations would play a role in their present buying decisions. It seemed that 9 times out of 10 that was exactly the case. I was in my mid 20s then and didn't quite understand the profound nature of what I was teaching. Now with another 14 years of life experience under my belt, I get it, I really get it.
It's so much easier to keep doing what we've always been doing. After all, things seem to be working out okay... until they don't. Then one day you look up and wonder "how did I get here?" You resolve to do differently by putting in place some new systems (that killer new meal plan or workout regimen) and routines (I'll plan and prepare my meals on Sundays and track with MyFitnessPal), but you keep finding yourself back at the same place over and over again. It's frustrating. You hate it. But you feel powerless to change it. I have good news: you can change it, if you are willing to change.
All human beings, regardless of race, ethnicity, educational background, financial status, or religion, have a common tendency: to act out of habit. Sure we deliberate over some decisions, but more often than not, we just do what we do without even thinking about it. Most of the time that works out okay and we keep doing it. But what about when it doesn't work out okay? There are some patterns in our lives that we cannot afford to repeat. There are some things that have allowed to enslave us that we must break free of. We know this pattern is sabotaging our success. We know it's holding us back from all that we were born to be and achieve. But how do we go from where we are now, to where we want to be? Choose the hard over the easy.
It's easy to say things are going to be different. It's easy to set goals. It's easy to acquire tools and resources that better position you for success. But if you don't take the time, to dissect your past decisions the outcome will eventually and assuredly be the same. You've got to choose the hard over the easy.
It's hard to look back on our past and have the courage to acknowledge the thought processes and habits that no longer serve us. But that is where the magic happens.
Take the time to remember and understand your mistakes or face the inevitable: you will habitually and subconsciously repeat them. Choosing the hard over the easy; that is what sets us free.
Do you know what's interesting? Sometimes people are so stuck on who you used to be that they can't see who you are today and where you are going! I have observed this in my own life as I transitioned from the person who was pursuing their dreams but haphazardly and inconsistently to someone who's pursuing a dream with passion and heart. Some people are so used to mediocrity that when someone tries to step out and do something different, they frown up and get to criticizing. But it’s not just in the area of dream chasing that I’ve seen this, but also as I work with my clients to improve their health and level of fitness.
It’s a shame, but not everyone is supportive and some people – including close family and friends -- will even go so far as to downright sabotage your success! They know you’re trying to eat healthier but they’ll tempt you with candies and cakes. You’re on a streak with your exercise routine and they’ll try to convince to you skip “just this once” and hang out with them instead. Or you go on vacation and they want you to take a vacation from your new healthy lifestyle. Let me be clear, this is crab syndrome at its finest. Though there is an attempt to disguise this a positive or being helpful, anyone who seeks to take you in the opposite direction of where you are trying to go has ulterior motives.
You see, the people that are around you have likely been around you for quite some time. They know the person that you were, the person that didn't work out regularly, the person that ate horribly or inconsistently, the person that knew nothing about nutrition. And now you are morphing it to a different person…one that does care, that is consistent or at least consistently imperfect using my 80/20 plan, one who is determined to make changes in their life for the better. You may have had to give up some TV to make time for exercise. You may have had to limit how often you go to certain places to stay on track with your nutrition. You may have to turn some things down that you love to indulge in, all because you have goals to reach. And sometimes people will put labels on you, labels you don’t deserve.
They will call you in extremist, say you think you’re “all that” or worse yet consistently remark about your “diet” when you’ve said flat out that this is a lifestyle change. They will say anything and everything to get you off track. They are attempting to define you, to limit you, to pigeonhole you based on what they know of you. But you know what, there could be other reasons for their behavior.
There two common scenarios that I’ve observed…
1. They may be trying to protect their relationship with you that centers on your former unhealthy habits.
2. You making these changes may make them uncomfortable because they know they have changes of their own to make but aren’t ready to. So you “doing you” may make them feel guilty about what they are not doing, but know they should.
So what do you do?
Do you anyway! You are no longer that person. You must remain resolute in that. You must remain your biggest fan. Don’t let other people define you or get you off track. They don't deserve that much power!
coach tam's Blog
40-something who loves food, fitness, and fun!