How Jesus Empowers You to Say No to Your Flesh Even When It Hurts

Do you find it hard to say no to foods that harm your body? (Unsplash/Greta Punch)

Several years ago, I taught a Take Back Your Temple small group class, and a common theme emerged: Many of the ladies had problems saying no.

Because they were so busy saying yes to everyone, they didn't have much time left to take care of themselves.

So food became the one way they allowed themselves to rest and enjoy.

But there was only one problem with that "solution;" they could not say no to foods they knew were hurting them, either.

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What do you do when you avoid saying no because you fear the hurt that can come from it?

That hurt can come from fearing other people's disapproval or the temporary pain that comes from denying your flesh.

However, on my own successful weight loss journey, I learned that you are going to have to say no to some things in order to say yes to your life!

With my class, I wanted them to see "no" in a new way.

I brought in an image of the word "no" decorated with butterflies and flowers. I told them I decorated the word because I wanted them to see it as less scary when they had to say it.

Then, I had them practice saying the word "no." We laughed about it, but I made my point.

After all, the things we say yes or no to every day are shaping our lives:

  • What are you saying yes' to? Your daily choices show it.
  • What are you saying no to? Your choices show that too.

Consider this: Are you saying yes to God through the thoughts you think and the decisions you make?

You say yes to God when you cultivate thoughts that agree with His Word. You say no to your flesh when you reject those thoughts that don't.

You say yes to God when you act in ways that bring peace and joy through the Holy Spirit. You say no to your flesh and the enemy when you reject behaviors that take away your peace and make you feel guilty.

Say it with me—saying no to your flesh can hurt!

But it hurts less when you remind yourself that you are living in light of eternity. You believe Jesus' word that you have eternal life in Him.

The choices you make in this life are training you for eternal life. In 2 Timothy 2:1-7, the apostle Paul compares us to soldiers, athletes and farmers.

Soldiers, athletes and farmers endure hardship for a short time for an even greater reward later.

So while you may hurt temporarily by saying no, what you are doing is saying yes to your life ultimately.

Remember: everything on this earth is temporary, which includes any hurt you feel.

When you consider your yes and no carefully, you are ensuring that you are being a good steward of all the Lord has given you. This includes your time, your talent and yes, your physical health.

God has promised a sure reward for those who diligently seek Him. So be encouraged, knowing that any hurt is temporary but your reward will be eternal.

Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify to God's healing power to end binge-eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website takebackyourtemple.com. Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.

This article originally appeared at takebackyourtemple.com.

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