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GREAT I AM BY PHILLIPS CRAIG DEAN
Once a month or so, I'll sneak out and grab Five Guys. It's one of my too many fast food indulgences. And I KNOW better, but "the flesh is weak" sometimes.
So last week, I'm jumping back into my ride after swinging by Five Guys. And I heard some news report about making healthy eating choices.
For a moment, I felt guilty about my lunch. Then my head cooked up images of people in my life who take GREAT care of themselves. They eat right. They work out. Frequently. They make it known. Frequently. All I know about these people centers on their appearance, because that's all they seem to focus on. It comes off as one-dimensional and uninteresting to me.
Let me pause to say this: I am not stereotyping anybody who is thinner than me as superficial or boring. On the contrary, after a few more seconds, I thought of a bunch of other healthy friends who are very normal, very interesting, multidimensional people. In fact, I'd go as far as saying the person who's skinny/healthy/pretty/whatever that's also a one-dimensional cliché' has to be the exception, NOT the rule.
But that's where my mind instantly went. Partially because of my own insecurities. Partially because of how weight and looks are handled in our culture (our movies, TV shows, etc.).
And I instantly said to myself "If eating right and exercising means I'd act like THOSE people, I'll keep my Five Guys, thank you very much."
I had a mistaken impression of what it means to take care of myself. It was warped. I allowed Hollywood/mainstream media/etc. and a few bad eggs to define an entire group of people.
Isn’t that true for so many of us in other areas of our lives?
Has anyone ever watched ME and said “if being a Christian means I’d act like Mike Couchman, then I’ll decline, thank you very much.”
Does the thought of being more like me make a non-Christian feel the same way I felt when I pictured a pretentious skinny person?
If my example doesn't appeal to them, I'm clearly failing at imitating Jesus. I would want them to know I am outlier. Just like a well-balanced healthy person would want me to know the vain thin person I conjured up wasn’t typical.
I’m using my weak moment of stereotyping to remind myself I am constantly setting an example, whether I mean to or not. The question is, am I setting the RIGHT example?