Stop Saying You Know What to Do If You’re Not Doing It!

I’m feeling a rant coming on today, so buckle up. Sometimes my rants are a result of something that I read or heard someone say, but today it’s a result of my own frustration with myself.

My frustration is the result of gaining 4 pounds. Now before you roll your eyes and call me petty, understand that this represents so much more than just a few pounds to me. Maintaining my healthy weight is my ministry—it’s my testimony! It’s one of my markers that tell me if I’m living in the Spirit or allowing my flesh to control me. TO ME, it’s akin to the pastor going home and beating his wife or stealing from the collections. It pulls me out of integrity with myself and with God and weighs me down, spiritually speaking. If I don’t practice what I preach, then I have no right to coach anyone else. S0, 4 pounds is a big deal!

Without giving you all the details of what started my downward spiral five weeks ago, I’ll summarize by saying that I stopped practicing one of the key principles in the Weight Loss, God’s Way Program.

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Information without revelation will not lead to transformationRomans 8:5 & 12:2

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It means that all the knowledge in the world will not change you unless it's through the power of the Holy Spirit convicting you and transforming you from the inside out. In short, I relied on my own knowledge to 'get me through' instead of relying on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Being a personal trainer of over 35 years, I sometimes use the excuse, 'I know what to do', which somehow in my mind gives me license to do what I want. Wrong! The moment I make this journey about me—my knowledge, my training, my wisdom—I begin to sink into a dark abyss of overwhelm, frustration, and anxiety. The minute any of us say 'we know what to do' and fail to do it, we begin the downward spiral.

"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them." James 4:17

In this scripture James is talking about humility. He reminds us that it is easier to think about it, talk about it, tell others about it than to actually live out our lives dependent on God. He is saying (this is a tongue twister to say and to read, but it's the truth):

To truly know something is to do it,
and until we can do what we know to do,
then we don't actually know it.

If we say we trust God yet continue to rely on our past successes, our wisdom, our knowledge, or our faith, and fail to live it out, then we are sinning. As James reminds us in a previous verse, faith without works is dead!

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Now What?

After avoiding the scale for weeks, I finally stepped on the scale to no surprise—I was up 4 pounds.

The good news is that I've learned to see the number on the scale (whatever it is) as a warning sign that I'm no longer in God's will. Like a check engine light in a car, it's a signal that I'm in need of a tune-up. This is good news because it's an opportunity to get back in line with God. I see it as an invitation to draw closer to Him and press in even deeper.

Here's how I recover from moments like these:

1.  Refuse Discouragement

In the past, I used to beat up on myself. This would only cause me to eat more and continue in the crazy cycle. Now I thank God for never leaving me. I thank Him for loving me so much that He cares about every detail of my life and I'm encouraged by telling myself that God can satisfy me more than any of the foods that I crave.

 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1

2.  Repent

For weeks I did not get on the scale; I did not want to face the truth; I wanted to continue doing what I was doing. Without repentance, we continue to carry the weight of our sins. We continue to live in bondage and we continue to walk around feeling out of touch with ourselves and with God. Let God know you need Him every single minute of the day. Find rest and restoration in Him by repenting and getting back in line with what you know to do.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9

3.  Retool

What tripped me up and led me to gain 4 pounds is what continually trips me up—relying on my own wisdom; wanting what I want when I want it, and taking on too much and then needing to reward myself.

These are areas that I need to continually turn over to God, to continually submit to prayer, and to get accountability on. Notice the areas in your life that keep tripping you up. What do you need to put into place so that you don't keep repeating the same behaviors over and over?

"Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth." Proverbs 4:5

4.  Recognize

I'm getting more adept at recognizing my recurring patterns. There are certain things we say that will tell us that we are heading down a slippery slope. What are these things for you? Recognize them and use them as a warning to get on your knees to fight the impending battle.

If you find yourself telling someone (or even yourself), "I KNOW WHAT TO DO," usually followed by something like, "I did it before when I was in Weight Watchers (or some other program) or "I studied nutrition", know that you're headed for a fall. Your past experience, your past wisdom, or previous prayer life is not enough to keep you from falling. Renew your mind every day, recognize the lie you're telling yourself and submit to God.

"If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them." James 4:17

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Remember, if you truly know what to do, then you would do it.
If you're not doing it, then you don't really know it.

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Teresa D.
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Teresa D.

Thank you for this article. I am guilty for saying this statement many times. Now I’m finally putting what I know to action and I’m getting results. So I will keep in mind this article and refer back to it when I find myself going astray. smile

Jody K
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Jody K

Complete and open honesty – without it, forget it! Your words are a Bingo! “I did not want to face the truth; I wanted to continue doing what I was doing. [Bottom-line truth here!! ] Without repentance, we continue to carry the weight of our sins. We continue to live in bondage and we continue to walk around feeling out of touch with ourselves and with God. Let God know you need Him every single minute of the day. Find rest and restoration in Him by repenting and getting back in line with what you know to do.” …and, then,… Read more »

Luann C
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Luann C

The raw honesty in this blog is very helpful as I consider applying it to myself as well. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Ena G
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Ena G

Thank you, Cathy, for being so honest and open (and real!). As I sit on this weight plateau (have been doing so for weeks!), I realize that I too am not doing what I thought I knew to do, and need an alignment check. The Prayer Challenge is helping me with my alignment and hearing what God is telling me is His best for me. I will retool, move on from this “you can’t break into the 150’s – you just can’t do it” to “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26b. Together we’ll… Read more »

Jamila
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Jamila

This is an awesome and true topic and how Cathy put together it has truly speaks to me and especially what I bring here (The good news is that I’ve learned to see the number on the scale (whatever it is) as a warning sign that I’m no longer in God’s will. Like a check engine light in a car, it’s a signal that I’m in need of a tune-up. This is good news because it’s an opportunity to get back in line with God. I see it as an invitation to draw closer to Him and press in even… Read more »