I’ll just bet you are wondering how I can realistically put the Bible and Weight Watchers together.
It’s easy, but first a little personal history.
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I am 5’8″ tall, and somewhat muscular, so when I tell people what I weigh, I often get a surprised look, and am told, “You don’t look that heavy.” Yet, I am. In 2010 I weighed almost 215 pounds and felt terrible about it. So, when a Weight Watchers representative started a weekly lunch meeting at work, I joined in. I was motivated to do their plan and about a year and a half later, I was down to my ideal weight of 175. That is when I felt I knew the program, knew pretty much how many points foods were worth and could stop paying the monthly fee for the phone app because I knew I could keep track of what I was eating on my own.
So I quit WW. And do you know what happened then? That’s right- I went back up. Not all the way back up, but up to about 205.
I have recently started NOOM, a different type of weight regimen that doesn’t just keep track of your food intake but helps you to understand the psychology of your desire to eat and gives you ways to change that behavior. So far, after two weeks I have lost about 10 pounds, but I know (from experience) that the closer I get to my ideal weight, the longer it will take to lose those last few pounds.
“OK- thanks for all that personal info, Steve, but what does any of this have to do with the Bible? Oh, wait- I get it! You are saying that because David says in Psalm 119:
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
and in Psalm 34:
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
that what you’re saying is the Bible is fattening!”
No, that is not what I mean.
The thing that makes Weight Watchers or NOOM, or for that matter, any regimen work is that it is not just something you do constantly but is something that you track constantly.
The Bible is not to be read once in a while but should be read every day. And you shouldn’t use one of those “Bible Verse per Day” calendars or notepads because that throws you all around the Bible and you do not get to see the continuity or the interrelationships within the Word of God. It is like reading a mystery novel starting at the beginning, then going to the middle, then near the end, then back to the beginning where you left off, to the middle, and so forth. No one reads a book like that, and even though the Bible books aren’t in perfect chronological order, you need to read it from Genesis through Revelation in the order that it is presented so that what you learn is contextually correct.
I consider it a real danger when people use these “verse a day” type of study guides: they teach single verses that are taken out of context and so you do not get a full understanding of what you are reading.
Learning God’s word is a regimen, a life-long regimen, and as such needs to be tracked and maintained. I read a couple of pages a day: I start at the start and go until I reach the end, then I turn it back to the start and start all over, again. Just like with NOOM, where I am keeping a record of what I eat to make sure I am staying on track to become more physically healthy, reading the Bible every day is how you stay on track to become more spiritually healthy.
Make reading the Bible -the whole Bible- part of your spiritual diet plan, and keep track of it every day. Make this a new, life-long regimen. They say that after doing something 21 times it becomes a habit, so starting today and for the rest of this month read a few pages a day, and by February you will start to see a spiritually healthier you.
And nothing is as attractive as someone who is spiritually healthy.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!