Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18
I’m the queen of New Year Resolutions. Every time January rolls around, I create a new list of goals. I even break the list down into categories (spiritual, physical, financial, etc.), hoping to improve every aspect of my life. I’m also pretty disciplined right out of the gate, motivated by the fact that the new year is a clean slate, a new chance to reinvent myself to the “new and improved” me. But come February or March, I’ve misplaced the list, and the motivation. Every year I return to the old vice-filled me.
I am an old mama. I had my last child at forty-four years of age. That pregnancy nearly did me in (there’s a reason why we are supposed to have babies in our twenties). Although she is completely worth it, since her birth I have been experiencing one medical issue after another. Each one has taken its toll on my body, and on my psyche. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t eat processed foods, stay up until midnight, and consider housework my only work-out regime. The result of living like that is I don’t have the energy to play “chase” with my kids, I have limited patience because I always feel like crap, and worst of all, I am now a borderline diabetic.
So this year, my New Year Resolutions aren’t about fitting into my skinny jeans, discovering new hobbies, and having more consistent date nights with my husband. My New Year Resolutions are about honoring my body, this temple, that God has gifted me with, despite its shortcomings.
Fortunately, God put two great friends in my path who have similar goals. We’ve formed an “Accountability Group” where we have to report in to each other each week via email on our progress. That has helped with getting me on the treadmill three days a week, eating my carrots, and trying to get eight hours of sleep a night. But the Accountability Group is not enough to keep me away from sugar. Therein lies my biggest temptation. However, it’s also the temptation with the highest risk if I don’t overcome it. If I don’t cut out all sugar from my diet, I’ll be on diabetes medication by summer. I don’t want that. I can’t have that! But I am struggling.
Jesus was no stranger to temptation. He spent forty days in the dessert without food, in the scorching sun, with the Devil taunting Him the entire time. I think prior to meditating on the scripture passage above, I knew that that experience was hard, but I presumed that being the Son of God made Jesus immune to the temptations that you and I face. It’s not until now that I’m coming to realize that taking on a human form meant that Jesus also took on all of the weaknesses that come with that. He was flesh and bone just like us. He had to eat. He had to drink. He had to rest. And, more importantly, He had the human disposition to want to avoid pain and discomfort at any cost. And it was precisely at those moments of pain and discomfort that Jesus was tempted the most: in the dessert, and in the Garden of Gethsemane where three times He prayed to have His cup taken away from Him. In fact, that’s when He affirms just how difficult His temptations were when He says to His disciples, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:41.
I thought I had to overcome this sugar temptation on my own. I thought I just had to develop more self-discipline and have a stronger resolve. As silly as it sounds, it never occurred to me to pray for help with this issue. I figured my previous bad habits got me into this pickle, it was my responsibility to get me out of it. But the line before, “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak,” is “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” That is my new life line. Praying for help is the missing piece to my puzzle.
Now understanding that Jesus “suffered when He was tempted,” means that my Accountability Group just grew. Rather than having just two good friends who are there for me to encourage and support me, and who also feel my pain, I now have three! With that kind of support, how can I possibly fail.
What are your New Year Resolutions? Do you need support to achieve them? Want to join our Accountability Group? If so, email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
Jocelyn was such a trooper posing for the photo above. In exchange, she required that I take the following pictures of her. Enjoy!
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