The Macro Diet Plan

The Macro Diet Plan

And he said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “But if you will, hear me: I give the price of the field. Accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.” Genesis 23:13

My wife and I recently signed up for a “macro” diet plan, in which we calculate how many macronutrients – grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fat – that we require. Then, eating whole foods, we daily work to hit our exact goals. I’ve needed to do this for a long time. Everything I read tells me that I’ve not been fueling my body correctly for how much I exercise. This plan requires a tremendous amount of work though. I tried it unsuccessfully once before. Previously unwilling to spend any money on it, I downloaded the free app on my phone and stuck with it for about two days. This time though, my wife and I paid someone to coach us through it. Now, having invested substantially has made all the difference. I’m not saying we’ll do it for the rest of our lives, but for the last few weeks, it’s been transformational. Both of us have been absolutely committed and have seen tangible results.

There’s an important principle here – Often, something is meaningless until I invest substantially in it. This principle is displayed in today’s passage. In the story, we read that Abraham’s wife died. We’re told he mourned, but then, we’re also told of the lengthy negotiation between Abraham and the Hittites over a burial cave for Sarah. The Hittites insisted on gifting the burial place to Abraham. Abraham though, knew that this was Canaan, the Promised Land. And so, he insisted on paying full price. He and the Hittites both knew that once Abraham paid for this land, it would be his. If he’d have simply buried Sarah for free, his legal attachment to the land would have been feeble. Having invested substantially, Abraham owned the land.

What’s the application here? In clinic, I often meet those who’re addicted, coming to me for medication to help with their addiction. Their lives are miserable, and they want to be free, but their idea of recovery is to simply take a pill. I tell them that medication can absolutely be helpful but I also ask if they’re willing to go to treatment, attend recovery meetings, and change their lives. No, just give me the pill doc. This plan is rarely successful because these patients aren’t willing to invest anything in recovery. Authentic transformation is profoundly difficult and it’s rarely as easy as taking a pill. If they desire genuine recovery, these patients must invest deeply in it.

This isn’t just for the addicted. As Christians, we know that we’re saved by grace. We can’t earn God’ love. It’s free. The problem is that this principle still applies. We don’t often value that which is free. Knowing this, God asks something substantial in return – he asks for all of us. When we come to faith in Christ, the price of our salvation has been paid in full by Christ’s sacrificial death. In return though, he asks that we invest our entire lives, daily dying to ourselves so that we may follow him. For many of us however, our faith simply means that we accept the free gift, put it on the shelf, and continue to follow our own way. If we desire an authentic, transformational faith though, then daily, we must invest radically in our relationship with the father, laying down our old life so that we may follow him, experiencing the new one.

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