I pray the day has found you well.
I was diagnosed with S.M.S.
There was a time in my life when I was in great shape. I had very little body fat, lots of lean muscle, tons of energy and very little compassion for those that were overweight / out of shape. I would look at these people and say to myself, “Why don’t they just get off the couch.”
Then something happened.
A number of years ago I started feeling poorly. I started to lose energy. I started to gain weight. One day when I driving my car, I realized that I could not keep my eyes open. I was falling asleep in the middle of the day and there was nothing I could do about it. I went to the doctor. After a series of tests, I was diagnosed with S.M.S.
(Stupid Man’s Syndrome)
If I had gone to the doctor when I first started to feel bad; when I first started to gain weight, I would not have gained over 50 lbs. before finding out that my thyroid had stopped working and I needed medication. Here I was a middle-aged husband who worried about his wife, thinking what life would be like after she went through “the change”, and I was the one who ended up on hormones.
After struggling with my weight for over fifteen years now, I have a new appreciation for those that struggle with me. God took a medical condition, turned it into a teachable moment, allowed me to do some reflecting on my attitude, and left me a changed individual. I no longer look down my nose at people that have what some may call a “weight problem.”
I know their struggle.
I know my struggle.
Since my diagnosis, I have had a new attitude, a new appreciation for people that are working on their stuff.
So often, we look at the outside of something and make a judgment of the inside. The old saying, “You cannot judge a book by its cover” is really very true.
My office at our YMCA is right next to the membership desk. Many people come into our “Y” looking to join because they want to lose weight and get into shape. At least that is what they think. The reason my office is right next to the membership desk is because often times these people will say something to the membership personnel and the membership person will say, “Do you know we have a chaplain? Let me introduce you to Roger.” I am introduced, a conversation ensues, and I end up getting to work with why they are in the condition they are in. Our trainers work on their physical wellness and I get to work on the spiritual and emotional wellness.
I get the opportunity to open the book, so to speak.
The one thing we do not do is judge people. We take them for themselves and work with them the best we can.
We extend Grace, just as Grace has been extended to us.
I will continue to struggle with my weight. I have many people that are helping me with this struggle, because they care.
Whenever I notice that, I am starting to make a judgment I remember what Jesus once said.
Jesus had some pretty strong words on judging people.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Matthew 7:1-5
My prayer is:
Lord, forgive me for judging others. As I slip into judgment, give me that gentle nudge to stop and take a deeper closer look and see where I need to change. Conform me Lord into your image not for my sake but for the sake of others. Amen.