Sunday, October 23, 2016


I give myself permission a lot.

Permission to eat more.
Permission to sleep in.
Permission to watch another television show.
Permission to not shower (I know, I'm gross).
Permission to not say something I know I should say.
Permission to say something I know I shouldn't say.


Permission to be a worse version of myself, essentially.
It's the slippery slope of one's demise. The one where you convince yourself that if you just do this one thing it doesn't really matter much. But then you find yourself allowing it more and more steadily and then one day you wake up and none of your clothes fit again. Or you realize you haven't read your Bible in a long time. Or your hair is a greaseball because you were too lazy to shower again. Or you sat in a coma for hours watching a television series you don't even really care about.

I've been spending a good bit a time with people on our staff the past few weeks asking them a series of questions. It's been interesting, especially as similar themes begin to surface among them.

What is inhibiting your success? 

Believe it or not, the answer I most often get is: myself.
And, on some level, I know that answer has to be true for almost all of us.
We're, too often, our own worst enemies.
We're enablers of our own laziness, selfishness, gluttony, pride, lust, fear (shall I go on...?).

It's a pretty interesting phenomenon... yet, it's nothing new. It's been an issue with humanity from the beginning.

It usually starts as an internal conversation- and my most recent battles have been with food consumption. Because I lost a decent amount of weight a few years ago and then, with a pat on the back for all my hard work, I slowly eased up on my concern with what went in my body and with my activity level. So, naturally, the balloon started inflating. When I went home for Christmas last year, I brought back some of my "fat" pants, determined not to spend money on clothes again.

But then I realized it was kind of the worst. Being scared of the scale, knowing I was just getting larger, feeling constantly insecure and, honestly, pretty disgusted with myself. Where was the self-discipline that I had acquired? And so, I began again. Slowly, but surely, attempting to care about what I ate and care about my physicality.

And so the conversations continue. The battle resumes.
It's only one donut. It's not like you eat them every day. It won't make a big difference. 
The devil on my shoulder convinces me.
I give myself permission.
I pick up the donut and, usually, enjoy every bite.

It's crazy how often I convince myself to do the very thing I have told myself I won't do. It's crazy how easy it is to defeat my own resolve with the slightest permission to just give myself a break from the commitment once or twice. In fact, the more I think about it, the angrier I am that I'm such a pushover.

And so lately, I've been fighting a little harder with myself.
Lately I feel more determined to not give in so easily.
Just being aware of the conversation, of my willingness to give myself permission, has allowed me to walk in discipline a little more steadfastly. Because when I can identify what's going on, I can tell myself to get lost and remind myself of what I'm committed to and why I chose to commit to it in the first place.

It's pretty cool to see what happens when I can walk more resolved in one area of my life, too. It begins to transform the other areas.

And really there's a lot of begging and pleading with the Lord that I might truly be more like Him, that I might seek His face more readily and that I might live a life that glorifies Him. And that part is necessary- that part can't be forgotten. That part is where the resolve comes from, that part is what changes everything. That part, I'll never be good enough in.

Thankfully there's grace, second chances and, because of that, an ability to not be entirely defeated when I give myself permission once in a while.

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