I recently listened to someone talk about the things we count in the new year: calories, miles, carbs, steps, etc. We use apps, designed to count just about anything. But not everything. What are other things we should be counting to keep ourselves in check?
- Complaints. How often do you complain? About what? Do you take action and try to influence change or simply whine about stuff?
- Self-medication. What drugs (legal or illegal) do you take, and why? What about the patterns and amount of alcohol you consume? Do you rationalize it?
- Excuses. Do you excuse workaholism with the money you’re providing your family? Do you excuse the language you use or conversations you have with fitting in with the people you work with or hang around?
- Lies. How are you deceiving yourself or others? Even the smallest deceptions impact you and your relationships.
- Pride/Conceit. How often do you elevate yourself above others, brag, or make a decision based on selfish arrogance?
- Clicks. How often do you go to those sites you know you shouldn’t and perhaps even excuse them? Pornography, entertainment that belittles others but makes you feel better, gambling – anything that you might say you can stop at any time, but you click once again.
I’m not suggesting you count these things to feel bad about yourself. Count them with the goal of growing through and beyond them. It’s not much different than counting calories or steps. You count in order to get healthy. We need to keep track of the things that need to be drastically reduced or eliminated from our lives.
I know, people say “you do you” to affirm whatever it is you’re doing, whatever it is you want. It might feel good for now, but “you do you” isn’t something good friends say to each other. Good friends question, “Are you sure this is the best step toward the best you?” Good friends love you through your stupidity, too, but they at least give you every chance to change and grow through the highs and lows.
I’m not about legalism. I don’t want to suggest there’s a simple answer, one response to one question or quandary. It’s a journey. But I know this: if you seek God – even if you don’t believe him right now, even if you don’t trust him, but if you’re simply willing to seek him – he’ll let you know want to count and when. He’ll start to open your eyes and heart to the possibilities of change. He’ll ask you the tough questions. Then you get to decide how you will respond.
Choose well. Count well.