I started thinking about that this morning after reading a book that a friend sent to me. The basic premise of the book is how to train your brain to think like a thin person. One of the points is that people who have healthy eating habits don’t make statements like, “I can eat this _____ this one time, it won’t matter.” Healthy people realize that what goes into your body matters every time. You need to weigh the cost and see if it’s worth it. You can choose to eat that cheeseburger and fries. It’s your right. But you can’t be surprised or complain when weigh in day comes and you aren’t down that pound or two that you were hoping for. Every choice has a consequence - good or bad.
You want people to stay out of your business? That’s cool. But when you are down and depressed and nobody reaches out to you, you can’t complain about it. The price for your privacy is that people will leave you alone in the bad times as well as the good - that is just the nature of things. Want to have a strong support system of people who know how you think and know how to lift you up when your down? The cost is that you may have to share some things about yourself that you would rather nobody know.
Maybe you feel the need to make your career, sports, or school your priority in life. That’s your right. And there are benefits to that. Money, respect, knowledge in and of themselves are all worthy rewards. But if those things are number one, you can’t bemoan the loss of personal relationships with others. If your spouse is distant, your kids don’t really know you, and friendships seem to dwindle, you have to check yourself to see if what you’ve gained is worth more than what you’ve paid.
Or maybe you want to be the ultimate authority in your own life. You don’t want to have to follow any one else’s rules about what you can or can’t do with your own body and your own life. You can sleep with who you want, drink or smoke what you want, say what you want, and you can choose to not do things that make you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable. Again, that is your choice. But the price is steep. Sometimes you will pay the price in very immediate ways (unwanted pregnancies, relationship drama, hangovers, depression, and loss of self respect). But keeping it real, sometimes you can make it through life doing all of those things and seem to be just fine. Not everyone ends up with an STD and a one way ticket to rehab. But don’t be deceived that there is still not a cost. If you believe in God and believe what the Bible says, then someday there will come a time when we will all stand before our creator and either be rewarded for the choices that we made in this life or have to pay the cost for the choices that we made. And I believe that both the reward and the punishment are going to exceed even our wildest attempts at trying to fathom what they’ll be like.
It’s your right to live how you want. But are you willing to give up that weight loss goal, relationships with others, or even a place in Heaven that is waiting for you for your rights?
If so, that’s fine. Just count the cost.
“Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.” Romans 6:23