The Once-a-Week Diet Plan

The Once-a-Week Diet Plan

Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the LORD’S side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. Exodus 32:26

I’ve always struggled with eating healthy. I’ve known what I should eat, but what I’ve wanted to eat has been very different. So, in the past, I’ve mounted the effort to eat well . . . for a day, before going back to my normal eating pattern. Then, the next week, I’d do the whole thing over again, hoping that my one good day would outweigh six bad days.

I did something similar in my addiction. As my day-to-day life grew to revolve around my drugs, I realized that I didn’t want drugs to define my life. Rather, I wanted to be known as a good husband, father, physician, and Christian. So, I sprinkled some good behavior on my life and I went to church on Sundays. I hoped that my good behavior would outweigh the bad. When the dark secret of my addiction came to light though, it overshadowed all else. My occasional good behavior was far outweighed by the daily reality of my selfish behavior.

I’m probably not alone here. Many of us believe that as Christians, we’re meant to follow God. When it comes to our daily lives though, we follow ourselves. Sure, we go to church on Sunday, but when Monday arrives, we look no different than anyone else. We hope that our selfless moments outweigh the selfish, but if we live 95% of our lives for ourselves, there’s no heroic moment that can tip the scales.

This was what I thought about while contemplating today’s passage. In it, many of the Israelites participated in the worship of the golden calf – an idol – defying God’s will. When Moses witnessed the debauchery, he called God’s faithful to him. It was a dramatic, cinematic-worthy event. Who is on God’s side? Any observer would like to think they would make the right decision in that heroic moment. The truth though, was that the decision had already been made. The sons of Levi hadn’t participated in the depravity and so, they could stand on the side of right. Everyone else who’d worshipped the idol may have, at that moment, wished they could stand on God’s side, but they’d already failed the test.

We often like to think that, when tested, we’ll prove ourselves heroic. The truth though, is that we are defined by our routine thoughts and actions. Once-a-week behavior can’t outweigh six-days-a-week behavior. We are defined by who we are on an average, ordinary day. So, do we daily point our lives at God, following him, and loving our neighbors? Or do we simply follow ourselves? How we live in the ordinary mundane moments, is who we are.

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