We are in the popular age of #FitFam – special diets, intermittent fasting, restriction of certain classes of foods, regimented exercise routines, or at least recommended physical activity to keep in shape and healthy. We ladies have jumped on the bandwagon, and don’t get me wrong… there’s nothing as physically attractive as a #YummyMommy slaying!
However, a beautiful, snatched woman with eyebrows on fleek, having both career and side hustles booming, yet weak in her spirit is an endangered soldier in the kingdom. That’s the point of my contemplation this #WomanWednesday.
It’s not that serious, you might say. Oh, but it is! This is because she is modelling the wrong example, raising weak children, not standing upright in her place, not fully kitted and armoured in the spirit.
Today, we have many social media stars who are not fully grounded in our identities because we are malnourished and thoroughly unhealthy. What are we feeding on? Since we are starving (whether we are aware or not), how do we recommend a growth plan to the next generation of protégés and/or children? With what curriculum of spiritual stake and discipleship filet mignon are we using to build them up when we ourselves are still sipping on baby milk?
Read your bible, pray every day if you want to grow… we’re all familiar with that song, right? It’s simple but not that simple. An infant is not born yesterday and given pounded yam today. A toddler doesn’t suddenly start eating suya. However, if a 25-year-old is still struggling to consume banana puree, can’t control his appetite or temper and is still potty training, then you may need to call the doctor, and fast!
In the same vein, your spiritual growth must be intentional and strategic. Apart from that, it must be customized to your special needs. If you’ve been given the gift of the gab as an orator and an ‘extroverted’ personality to impact lives for God, but excessive speech has become a major character flaw, then you go back to your Maker, asking Him to recommend a special diet of Word and Spirit-inspired work to whip you back into shape.
Babe, what is that part of you that can’t be exposed to the light? What weakness(es) and blind spots do you possess that only you know? Things that plague you, yet, you are too ashamed or proud to admit your vulnerability in that area? Is it greed, hyper-sensitivity, pride, false humility, shame, approval addiction, laziness, procrastination, anger, bitterness, self-victimization, envy, guilt, substance or food abuse, low self-esteem, people-pleasing, masturbation or pornography, binge-eating, workaholism (yes, I just coined the word!), addiction to performance or TV or video games or social media, gossip…the list is endless.
If I haven’t shaken the table you are standing on, God knows your house address. So whether or not you want to admit it, there is something in each of our lives that must be fixed in order to grow into the full stature of Christ (which is the ultimate goal of the Christian experience here on earth). Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal this critical area to you so you can eat your way back to recovery.
Even if you were not ‘ill’, as the list above may indicate, you wouldn’t go eat out of dumpster truck, would you? Nope. This is the same way we must be careful about the source of our spiritual meals, how and in what environment they were prepared. Don’t just listen to any podcast or watch just anything on YouTube. Even the music we expose our hearts to has a way of regulating our spiritual temperatures.
Some of us are overweight in the spirit, others are featherweight – it’s time to get in shape. There are verified self-assessment tools online that you can use to measure how much you have grown as a follower of Christ. This way, you get to know what you know, as well as what you don’t know, in order to fill in the gaps through the help of the Holy Spirit.
My favourite writer Paul (formerly known as Saul) says when you yourself have been comforted (i.e. strengthened), then you can strengthen others. This is not to say you have to be puuuurrrfect before you can encourage those around you. But don’t advocate a path you are not walking on or preach a Jesus you don’t know.
Remember that you are a woman favoured by God to do exploits and take extraordinary strides. You will continue to hunger the right way because paradise is yours for the taking!
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We are just a listening ear away.