I’ve written extensively about my issues with food, eating, and wellness over the years. Today I’m doing really well, but that could all change tomorrow.
A few years ago I preached a Sunday morning sermon about my issues with food and eating. I shared a few principles from Philippians 3:17-21. Most people have never heard a sermon on gluttony or eating, so I’d recommend checking it out. It’s called Confessions From a Bathroom Stall (which happens to be one of my favorite sermon titles ever!).
In this post I want to drive home one of the points I made in the message. In particular, this post addresses the role of community in our struggles. This takeaway is not isolated to food/eating issues, but rather any and every struggle we face.
I’m in the middle of a six-month weight loss program at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. My favorite part of this program is that it addresses the main issues: eating, exercise, and sleep. There’s no special diet, no 12-step process, or specific workout regimen. Rather, the team is helping me make better decisions about eating, exercise, and rest. The numbers on the scale are very slowly improving, but I’m encouraged by the lifestyle changes I’m making.
A big problem I discovered this week is how much secrecy and shame affect me in my wellness. We all, to some extent, struggle with fear of man and people pleasing. But I was challenged earlier this week by one of the team members that I need to do a much better job of “living out loud.”
What does it mean to “Live Out Loud?”
Every day I’m supposed to track my eating, exercise, and sleep. Some days I like tracking, other days I hate it. Some days I’m open to others seeing my food logs, other days I want to hide, lie, and skip tracking. What my friend helped me to see is that part of the reason why I don’t like to track is because I’m afraid of disappointing others. I don’t want them to see what I’m eating and I feel like I’m going to let them down.
So instead of being honest and inviting others in, I hide and keep it in the dark.
I want to impress others and I fear being shamed when I fail. No one puts this on me other than Scott Kedersha.
What is it for you?
- Do you spend money that you don’t want your spouse to know about?
- Are you looking at something on your phone or computer that you’d be ashamed of others seeing?
- Are you sneaking hits from the bottle or vape pen and no one knows about it?
This week I have a single, but profound, challenge for you. How can you “Live Out Loud” with someone in your community or family? Is there something you need to confess to your friends or spouse?
A few suggestions on how to best Live Out Loud
1. Be proactive.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Before you’re tempted, text your friends and ask for some help, prayer, and accountability.
I’ve done this before when I’m tempted to binge on food. I’ll ask my community for help and they’re always willing. This is no solo game, so don’t act like it you need to go it alone.
2. Be quick to confess when you fall short.
Don’t let shame prevent you from inviting others in. You might need to deal with some of the consequences from your decisions, but let community bear the burden with you (Galatians 6:2, James 5:16).
Remember that God knows everything you’ve done, are doing, and will do. And He still chooses to love you, unconditionally. Our sin is against Him first and foremost (See Psalm 51:4). If the perfect God of the universe can choose to love you, then we don’t need to fear man.
4. Encourage others.
Sometimes we get so self-focused in our struggles. Instead, choose to encourage a friend who you know is currently struggling. Proverbs 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Our words bring life and encouragement to others, especially if their top Love Language is words of affirmation. Get outside of yourself and Live Out Loud for someone else. We have no idea how much our words might encourage another.
What if you don’t have anyone? Find someone in your life you can trust. Go first—you don’t have to wait for the other person to be authentic. You’re not alone in your struggles, so don’t fear what man will do to you. The common denominator in our lives is sin and the common solution is Jesus.
I’m so grateful for the challenge to Live Out Loud. Part of the reason I share this post is to ask for your prayers and help. I don’t want to hide my struggles and I know you don’t either. Live Out Loud and invite others in.
Is there an issue in your life where you need to Live Out Loud? If so, who will you share it with today?
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