Recently, I woke up and the first thought on my mind was, "2021 is the year to grow up and become an adult." I knew immediately those words were from God because they were not originally on my radar and caused me to think in new ways. God always does that.
I said, "Show me what you mean, God." Then, I saw clearly how 21 is the year we believe individuals become adults. Sure 18-year-olds have certain privileges, but they are still teens. The years before 21 can be very tumultuous when many issues happen which can change the course of our lives if we don't work through them and learn how they have held us back or kept us stuck.
So 2021 is the year we all need to step boldly into adulthood.
Adulting Is Hard
It makes me think about a woman who said to me, "I want to be like you when I grow up." I told her, "Thanks, but please don't go through all the hassles I've gone through to get here."
To be clear, I don't think she was talking about weight loss. The subject was indecision, and I had said I'm good at making decisions and talked about some I'd recently made. However, I wasn't always good at making decisions. One doesn't gain up to 430 pounds by making good decisions.
There have been many bad decisions I've made along the way, mainly regarding the food I ate and the absence of any desire to exercise. Each bad decision has taught me something. This is a part of growing up and moving into adulthood. We have to learn that what the devil meant as a way to take us out, God will use for our good if we stop wallowing in our bad choices—but it's not easy.
Adulting is hard; it just is. The rewards, though, are so worth it. Case in point, I've lost more than 250 pounds and have kept it off since 2013. God helped me do that, and it was so worth it to allow Him to lead me.
We have to make decisions based on what our end goal is and not what we want in the moment. However, we live in an instant gratification society. That mindset is everywhere. We want what we want, and we will do almost anything to get it.
No Is an Adult Word
The other day a woman posted in my coaching group that she needed help resisting a dozen brownies a well-meaning friend had just delivered to her door as a gift. She had been following what she felt was God's plan for her to eat sugar-free. She felt as if she was under attack and needed help right away.
That evening, I told her to simply throw them away, then go for a walk and have a little talk with Jesus. Life is always a test. Will we pass the test?
She posted after that she had thrown the brownies away but felt emotionally drained from the spiritual battle that had raged inside her. She cried and had wanted to keep them to just have one every day. However, she'd been in our group long enough to know that would never work.
The enemy, though, never takes no for an answer. He kept whispering his sweet nothings in her ear, daring her to go against the long-range goal she knew God had given her. She was an adult, but the child in her was crying out to regain control.
The next day, God told her in no uncertain words that this was a test and that she was placed in my group to help her understand how to overcome and how to tap into His power in order to use that very adult word—no.
What Does God Want?
This is part of what adulting is all about. It's not easy. It's many times gut-wrenchingly hard. That's why we run away from doing what we know God wants us to do. He's not mad at us when we are tempted or even when we give into temptation. He's on our side and wants us to learn from our mistakes in order to renew our minds.
I love what Romans 12:2 tells us. In many translations, it says: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by renewing your mind." The Passion Translation says, "Be inwardly transformed through a total reformation of how you think." The Message says, "Fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out."
For us to grow up in Jesus, we have to learn how to say no to our flesh and short-term desires and yes to God and His destiny plan for us. When we are following what the world wants or what we want, we haven't yet grown up. We are still children at heart.
God says it's time to grow up. It's 2021 already. It's about time we learn how to be adults. For more on this powerful topic, listen to Sweet Grace for Your Journey on the Charisma Podcast Network.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of six books and two study guides, including her No. 1 bestseller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. Her sixth book, Sweet Surrender: Breaking Strongholds, is live on Amazon. She blogs at teresashieldsparker.com. She is also a Christian weight loss coach (check out her coaching group at Overcomers Academy) and speaker. Don't miss her podcast, Sweet Grace for Your Journey, available on CPN.
This article originally appeared on teresashieldsparker.com.
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