Tag Archives: Christian

Christians Don’t Have “Cheat Days”.

Junk Food Cheat Meal

Cheat: (as an intransitive verb)

1a :  to practice fraud or trickery

1b :  to violate rules dishonestly

2:  to be sexually unfaithful

(Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

 

 

 

Cheat meal seems to be a commonly used phrase in the world of dieting and weight loss. I go out to eat and I see people saying they are having a “cheat meal” as they proceed to order something unhealthy or highly processed from the menu. For the past several months I’ve been wondering why Christians are comfortable with the term “cheat meal”; since when is it acceptable for Christians to schedule or make time for cheating. I don’t use the term “cheat meal”, instead I say “treat meal”. When you say that you are cheating during a meal or worse, having a day of cheating; who exactly are you tricking or whose rules are you violating dishonestly?

Eph 4 29
Healthy Talk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For myself, I’m not yet at the stage where I can claim something to be a treat meal. If I eat chips, cookies, or drink pop it means that somewhere during the day I had given into food temptation. People who are well disciplined with their healthy eating lifestyle are those who have actual treat meals. The occasional unhealthy meal or snack is not going to harm a person, but when these treats become a regular part of your eating plan, they are no longer treats. If unhealthy foods are a regular part of your eating plan, I would ask why you need to refer to it as a treat.

My main concern isn’t about what people are eating for cheat or treat meals; my focus is on the terms that we use when we know that we’ve given into temptation. Cheat, bad, mistake, fail, slip, etc. Words like these are terms used to describe a feeling of defeat. As believers we need to feed our minds words of strength and encouragement. Our journey of healthy living produces resiliency over time when we learn not to label ourselves with self-defeating words.

The self-hate meal
Pretty much

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone who struggles with eating well has at least one food item that is a problem. These are the foods where once you start eating them, you feel as if you can’t stop. Once the food item is gone you end up being more vulnerable to overindulging again. I do my best not to bring pop into the house and second on my list is cookies. For others they will have a different list of foods that they need to abstain from.

 

Dear fellow believers, we are not cheaters; let’s stop using that word.

My hope is that we can find a more positive term to use, one that is not self- defeating. I have become more comfortable with the following two terms: treat meal and break meal (meaning a break from your usual eating choices). Regardless of what you choose to call these times of indulgence, what you feed your body and how much of it still matters.

For further reading, linked below is a great article about cheat meals from Nia Shanks of Lift Like A Girl. http://www.niashanks.com/the-dark-side-of-cheat-days/

Here are other article about cheat meals:

http://www.leangenetics.com/the-cheat-meal/

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-ways-cheat-meals-can-improve-your-body.html

 

The Passive Aggressive Christian

Passive aggressive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the smile, a hidden knife!” – Ancient Chinese proverb

Definition:

“Passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly addressing them. There’s a disconnect between what a passive-aggressive person says and what he or she does.” (Mayo Clinic), and from Preston Ni, M.S.B.A, “In short, passive aggressiveness is anger, hostility, and/or learned helplessness in disguise, expressed in a covert, underhanded way to “even the score,” and with the hope of “getting away with it.” The perceived payoffs for the passive-aggressive are greater power, control, and negative emotional satisfaction.”

Confession time! I have difficulty dealing with people’s passive-aggressive personalities. My biggest downfalls in life have come as a result of not knowing how to address passive-aggressive persons (PA). In reaction to their behaviour I unknowingly responded in ways that make PA’s even angrier and more empowered.

There is never a need to be chronically passive-aggressive if your identity is deeply rooted in who God says you are. Having a passive-aggressive temperament is an outright sin; it is a major character flaw. The thoughts and behaviours of this type of personality are in conflict with how we are called to behave as Christians. As followers of Christ, a person can’t live a life of covert negative feelings that fuel an M.O. for intentionally hurting others. The passive-aggressive personality doesn’t align with the fruits of the spirit and never produces a community that consists of the types of relationships encouraged by St. Paul in his letters to the early Christians.

For those who are P.A., I encourage you to find healthy ways to process and express your frustrations and feelings of insecurity. The outcomes will be healthier relationships with others, a life of integrity, less internalized stress, and development of a more Christ-like character.

The spirit of the LORD brings freedom, the spirit of passive-aggressiveness brings bondage.

To experience the healing power offered by God, one has to be willing to be brave enough to be vulnerable in expressing how they feel in a manner that is not intended to undermine and hurt others.

Passive aggressive ahead!

For those on the receiving end of malice, stay emotionally strong. Understand that you are never the cause of another person’s inability to communicate in a healthy way. A Passive-aggressive personality is often rooted in unresolved issues stemming from childhood (0-17) where, either directly or indirectly caregivers reinforced the lesson that one is not to express their anger for fear of the consequences of doing so.

Spiritual Responses

  • Pray for discernment and wisdom on how and when to address passive-aggressive personalities.
  • Ask God to give you the emotional strength to not give into their behaviour and risk becoming like them.
  • Most importantly, pray for the person to experience the healing power that only God can provide to such wounded people because these types of issues are more than a personality conflict; it is a spiritual battle.

Are you Passive-Aggressive? Unsure of whether or not you are dealing with a Passive-Aggressive person?

Below are some resources to help you recognize and deal with passive-aggressive people


 

What it looks like: (Source: Preston Ni, M.S.B.A.)

Below are four categories of passive aggression:

Disguised Verbal Hostility. Negative gossip. Sarcasm. Veiled hostile joking — often followed by “just kidding.” Repetitive teasing. Negative orientation. Habitual criticism of ideas, solutions, conditions, and expectations.

Disguised Relational Hostility. The silent treatment. The invisible treatment. Social exclusion. Neglect. Backstabbing. Two faced. Mixed messages. Deliberate button pushing. Negative or discomforting surprises. Overspending. Sullen resentment. Indirectly hurting something or someone of importance to the targeted person.

Disguised Task Hostility. Procrastination. Stalling. Forgetting. Stonewalling. Withholding resources or information. Professional exclusion. Denying personal responsibility. Excuse making. Blaming. Broken agreements. Lack of follow through. Resistance. Stubbornness. Rigidity. Avoidance. Inefficiency, complication, incompletion or ruination of task.

Hostility Towards Others Through Self-Punishment (“I’ll show YOU”). Quitting. Deliberate failure. Exaggerated or imagined health issues. Victimhood. Dependency. Addiction. Self-harm. Deliberate weakness to elicit sympathy and favor.


Sources:

http://www.aacc.net/the-passive-aggressive-always-wins/

http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-passive-aggressive-christian-leadership-must-go-away-98581/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/communication-success/201401/how-spot-and-deal-passive-aggressive-people

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201307/the-passive-aggressive-conflict-cycle

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201306/why-passive-aggression-thrives-in-the-workplace

 

Bitter in the Battle

Self-doubt + comparison + outward focus = Bitter Servant

envy

Today was not a successful day in the “good” Christian department. If God were grading me, I would get an “F” for effort and an “A+” for bitter comparison.

For the longest time I had been harbouring anger and frustration towards one of my less than hard working classmates. In order to take this training program that I am enrolled in I had to make significant sacrifices of my time, finances and energy. These are three areas in my life that I cannot be slack with. These are the resources I have the least of. Unfortunately these are the three resources that are required in order to reach my career calling.

"I'm doing this for God, can't you tell ?"
“I’m doing this for God, can’t you tell ?”

This was an epic morning where I unleashed my frustration towards my classmate. I let it be known that I didn’t appreciate the fact that on a daily basis she doesn’t follow instructions, she slows down the progress of the class, she doesn’t have to hand in assignments according to deadlines like the rest of us, and she doesn’t have to do assignments on her own; instead, she has other people do the bulk of the work for her and then she hands them in.

I was feeling righteous in my anger when I realised, I had no right to be angry with my classmate. I came to the realization that I was angry with her because I had to do assignments and she didn’t. Was it my business that she contributed minimal effort to assignments and hardly followed classroom rules and procedures. The answer I felt from the Holy Spirit was, “No”.

value

I had to accept that if God has given me a calling in any area of my life, it is not up to me to look at others and be upset because I have to do the work, while they don’t. When the Spirit prompts us to do something, the message is for us as an individual and it is not for anyone else. How did I lose sight of this? Was it a plank in my eye? Well… not exactly.

What happened to me today is something I call Bitter Servanthood (B.S.). B.S. happens when God or His Spirit calls you to do something, it can be big or small. You respond and you follow this calling, but as days pass you realise the work is difficult, frustrating, and tangibly unrecognizable to others. Eventually you become bitter that others are happily doing their own thing while you are busy “having to serve God”. This happens when we allow our eyes and hearts to shift focus from what we are meant to be doing and instead, focus our eyes on what others are doing.

The Bitter Tree
The Bitter Tree

Bitter Servanthood is real and it happens to all of us at some point in our Christian walk. Our callings are not always a smooth process and we need to be careful not to allow our thoughts to shift to what we think we are missing out on. When we keep our attention on God and serving those who He brings across our path, we won’t have time or the desire to look at others and become bitter or frustrated about what they aren’t contributing or not doing. Staying focused on our self brings a sense of peace within; develops faith in our work; and trust that God’s direction is in action.

My wish for you and for myself is that you develop trust and not bitterness while engaging in whatever it is that our Father has called you to. It is not easy to watch others succeed quicker, make more money without much effort or live a life with plenty of spare time to idle and have unlimited fun; but my fellow believers, please trust that God has your best interest at heart. Whatever we have to sacrifice in order to do His will, is nothing when we realise He is doing amazing, supernatural work behind the scenes. God is doing the work that we as humans cannot; He is setting things in order.

James 3:13-18

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

QUESTION:

Are there areas in your life where you are experiencing B.S.? Do you feel bitter about doing certain things that you know is the right thing to do? Are you losing the joy and happiness you once had while serving others?

APPLICATION:

Pray. Honestly ask God to reveal any areas in your life where you have become a Bitter Servant. Take time to honestly inventory the reasons why you may be feeling this way. If you come to the decision that it is time to make changes, ask God to reveal to you what your next steps are (e.g. take a break, quit, scale back, time for an uncomfortable talk with others, etc.)

Have no fear, God is a gentle God and will never punish or be angry with you for bringing your hurts, fears, and insecurities to Him. God is a revealer and a healer!

Source: The Proclaimed Word
Source: The Proclaimed Word

Are you a fitness pharisee ?

THE PHARISEES OF FITNESS

food judgement  Bread is the devil

Did you know that we have pharisees in the fitness world? Yes, indeed we do! In the literal sense of the word, pharisee means separate or separated from. Who were the Pharisees as portrayed in the Synoptic Gospels? Well, they are written as a group who were obsessed with man-made rules, especially rules about what they considered to be pure and impure. These groups believed that their views and their way was right and everyone else was wrong. They looked down on others who didn’t practice and meet their moral standards. Their leaders were the most vocal in the community and whether or not you agreed with them or cared to follow their ways, they still let you know what they believed and why you should be living life according their methods.

The pharisees of health and fitness are those who I refer to as food purist bullies also known as the food police. Are you a food bully? Not sure, well my handy and unscientific questionnaire will help decide that for you.

paleo unhappy

Do you think you’re a caveman/cavewoman and eat like one? Well, that’s all good and healthy, but the real question is do you insist that your eating lifestyle is the only correct method? Do you stare down friends, co-workers and family as they place a piece of non-caveman approved food in their mouth? Do you proceed to tell them how unhealthy their food is and as a result, emotionally ruin the meal for everyone else?

Do you insist on informing everyone you encounter that eating anything other fruit, vegetables and nuts is detrimental to your health? Do you become uneasy when you enter someone’s kitchen and see them cooking food? Do you suddenly find yourself telling them to turn off the burner as you preach to them the reasons why their boiled peas are now useless?

carbs_are_of_the_devil

Do you go around telling everyone that you don’t eat carbs? That you are somehow miraculously able to stand up straight, let alone lift weights without having consumed any carbs what-so-ever? Do you have a bad habit of telling everyone at the lunch table how many carbs are in everything they are about to eat? Do you have carb envy, you know, that look that you get when you see a well-toned and fit person happily eating carbs while talking about their latest half-marathon stats? You don’t know what look I’m talking about; well, those of us who consume carbs are well aware of that look 🙂

I could give many more examples of fitness pharisees; just because you didn’t make the list of examples in this blog post, you still know who you are! LOL!

health nut

Question:

Are you a fitness pharisee? Let us not take our health pursuits to the extreme level that New Testament Pharisees took with religion. We are not here to create rules about health that make taking care of ourselves become a soulless, spiritually void list of value-based duties. If you’ve found a method which works for you, then great, stick to it, but at the risk of being a stumbling block and discouragement for others; don’t insist that your healthy way is better than someone else’s  healthy lifestyle.

Pharisee

The wholistic goal of health and wellness is to take care of what God has created. We are God’s creation and He expects us to take care of ourselves. Body, Mind and Spirit is what we are made of. God does not want us to be a hindrance to our self or others with rules that He never created.

Application:

If you have a difficult time respecting the health and wellness choices of other healthy people (whether in your thoughts or in your actions), pray and ask God to give you a heart of peace. Pray for protection against a spirit of judgement and superiority.

Each time you feel compelled to correct or ridicule someone else’s healthy plan, please, STOP! Simply put your lifestyle approved food in your mouth and keep eating! Bon Appetit!

smiley-face-pancake