Constrictive vs. Constructive

Christians, a while back, God was showing me revelation about two different things in my personal life: 1) A budget, 2) A food journal.  These were two new concepts for me that I had previously had no idea about or any interest in doing.  I think, as Christians, we tend to deny ourselves so many worldly pleasures, that when it comes to talking about our money or our bodies, (weight, food intake, health) we prefer that people (and sometimes God) mind their own business.  When we decided to give our lives to Christ, we also gave Him rule over our finances and we gave up our bodies to become a temple for His Holy Spirit to dwell.  

When I say “budget”, I know for myself that the thought of it previously made me cringe.  It would just tell me what I COULDN’T spend, what I DIDN’T have the money for anyway.  However, once I started using a budget, I found out that although we have to be responsible for what we spend, I found myself actually happily spending less than what I had budgeted in certain areas and we were “rolling over” money week to week.  It was actually freeing me up to do more and to be more in control.

With the food journal, it could be perceived like a diet, constrictive.  What we CANNOT eat, what is FORBIDDEN.  However, with just weighing ourselves every day, and just writing down everything we ate, my wife and I lost weight and became healthier.  We found that we didn’t actually make ANYTHING forbidden, but rather the act of writing it down, or knowing we would be held accountable, would help us make better decisions.  We often thought, maybe I don’t need a soda for dinner, I had one for lunch.  Do I really want to write down that I ate 3 servings of chips or will 1 or 2 be plenty?  Again, it actually freed us up to enjoy what we could enjoy.  We upgraded a while back to an app on our phones, it logs meals, counts calories, and lets you know exactly how many calories you have left.  Many days we find ourselves with extra calories and the option of enjoying a snack!   

I liken the budget and food journal to the rules and regulations of God.  The bible is full of things allowed and not allowed.  If just read, but not understood, the Bible could seem rather constrictive.  As Christians are we allowed to do anything?  When you read the Bible and begin to truly apply the commands, you realize the great freedom available.  

The greatest command: love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.  If we follow this, we cannot hold a grudge, or get offended, or act out and be angry or bitter.  This command was not given to prevent us from enjoying anything.  If we obey it, we find out that life is much better without anger, bitterness, frustration or offense.  It frees us up to love and live for God.  Jesus said that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.  That does not sound constrictive to me.  Look at the things God asks you to lay down and leave behind as CONSTRUCTIVE to your SPIRIT life and health, not CONSTRICTIVE to your FLESH.  You will live a full and spiritual life, happier than you could have ever imagined.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

If you love me, keep my commands.  John 14:15 (NIV)

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.  I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.  I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.  Psalm 119: 10-16 (NIV)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses? Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)

If you want to see someone that truly sees God’s word as Constructive and not Constrictive, I suggest you read all of Psalm 119.  It is LONG, but this person, did not find God’s laws a burden, but a blessing to guide and direct his life toward the blessings and protections that God’s laws provide.

written and posted by Daniel Poggensee | 2017

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