One of the best days of your life is the day you take full responsibility for your own life and health. I can’t tell you how many times I played the “victim card” to justify my insane pace of life. Or, I would lie to myself with statements like “it will get better” or “this is just for a season” or “once we get through this building campaign…”. Living in denial caused such stress in our marriage that my wife would interrupt me in mid-sentence. She would say “Just stop. There is always some project or some problem or some new season. It never gets better.” She was right.
One thing I do know from 30 years of ministry is that ministry will take whatever you give it. The job is never done and there is always more to do.
In recent years, a passage in Deuteronomy 30 has really helped me. As the chapter opens, Moses is describing the life of blessing that awaits the people of Israel. It is an invitation to a better life.
Then, in verse 11 Moses takes any possibility of the Israelites playing the victim card. He says Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. (Deut. 30:11-14)
Personalize the phrases in this passage…
• it’s not too difficult for you
• it’s not beyond your reach
• the word is very near you
• it is in your mouth and in your heart
This life of blessing is mine for the taking. The life of emotional and spiritual health is within reach. But, first, I have to “own it” for myself. Nobody is going to do it for me. No well-intentioned deacon or spouse or elder or close friend can protect me from myself if I choose to lead an unhealthy life.
What I have come to embrace is that no one has been holding a gun to my head. The root issue in my drivenness and excessive busyness was not my environment or the demands placed on me. I was my biggest problem. I had and have choices. And, so do you!
What decision do you need to make to today to take great ownership of your own health?