Donuts and Body Fat

Donuts and Body Fat

Then whoever feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses, but whoever did not pay attention to the word of the LORD left his slaves and his livestock in the field. Exodus 9:20

I’ve always believed that eating right would decrease my body fat and make me feel better. I’ve never understood that eating donuts was the route to physical fitness. As I passed by the donut case at the grocery store the other day though, I reminded my wife how I used to get three huge donuts (over 1,000 calories), which I justified because I was going on a long bike ride, training for triathlons. Then, on race day, I’d lament the extra body fat I was carrying. I knew I should eat healthy. I believed in the benefits. But I failed to allow that belief to change my behavior. So, I’ve got to ask the question – What good was that belief? If I truly believed in eating healthy, and if I truly desired the benefits of doing so, then my belief had to generate action, or it was just useless knowledge.

Authentic belief translates into changed behavior. That’s the lesson of today’s passage. In the story, God threatened the seventh plaque, one of hail, upon the Egyptians, providing fair warning. If you take shelter, you’ll be fine. If you don’t, you’ll die (my paraphrase). Everyone heard the warning. Those who truly believed and feared God, took shelter, and were saved by their faith. Those who received the warning but failed to act upon it, died. Everyone had the same knowledge. Only some believed though, allowing their behavior to be shaped by that belief.

The lesson for me is pretty clear. Sure, I believe in God. I have a knowledge of him. Here’s the question though – Does that belief change my daily behavior? If you look at my life and at the life of someone who doesn’t believe, would there be any difference? Is there any evidence of my belief? If not, then my belief is simply useless knowledge, like my previous knowledge of donuts and body fat. I’ve been there, believing in God but following me. That has been my greatest life problem. So now, I daily must make some effort to point my life at God, instead of myself. I don’t do this to try to prove myself to God, or to earn his love. I do this because I’ve truly come to believe that my life is far better when I’m following him than when I’m following me. I don’t do it perfectly, but I do believe and so, my belief must affect how I live.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

14 − one =