In the video, I go through how access your wellness benefits such as EAP (counseling and legal help), Virgin Pulse (the walking program), and much more. If you are a pastor in the Global Methodist denomination and have these benefits, please use them. You and your church are paying for them so you might as well get your money’s worth.
I’m going to shift gears. Changing your habits and patterns is so difficult no matter what you have for tools and incentives. I know a lot of solid Christians that struggle with with overcoming behaviors or attitudes that are causing them problems in life. They might have victory for a season but are then back in the same rut. What can be done?
I’m going to give you a couple of practical suggestions, but I want it to be clear: there is no victory over sin apart from faith in Jesus Christ. These suggestions are to be used in relation to that faith, not in place of that faith.
Something I realized quite some time ago is that most of my problems are my fault. It sure is easy and tempting to blame other people…your spouse, co-workers, parents, etc…for why you’re failing. Maybe they do share in the blame, but you also share in it…and you’re the only person that you even have a chance of controlling.
Probably 20 years ago, I read John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. The one I still remember is: Lift your Lid. That was a way acknowledging the way I hijack my own plans. I started with creating my own personal strategic plan. Currently I use the Full Focus Planner as well as the Wesleyan Band Meeting. Taking time to write and reflect as well as reflecting with people you are close to can help identify areas of your life that you need to address.
For example, I was struggling following through with a commitment to my wife. I would try hard but would eventually fall away. During a Band Meeting, I was confessing this. One of my brothers said, “Jeff, you solve almost all your problems with a spreadsheet. Why not this as well?” I took his advice and committed to the course of action in the Full Focus Planner. It seems to have worked.
Reflection sheds light on the problem so you don’t keep fumbling around until you fall into the same hole you just got out of.
A few years ago, I read, “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker. At the same time, I was trying to lose 10-15 pounds. So, when I created my spreadsheet, I decided to have a column to track my sleep. I setup my spreadsheet so that sleep was the most important thing. If I got 7+ hours of sleep, that was worth more than diet and exercise combined. I did this because I realized that I make a lot of bad choices when I’m tired. It’s easier to skip exercise or cheat on my diet.
We noticed this in our Band Meetings as well. Many of the acts of sin were times when we were tired, hungry, or stressed. I also happened to read Psalm 127 at that time: He gives His beloved sleep. I also remembered how strict John Wesley was about sleep. You can see him cautioning about too little or too much sleep in Sermon 93. The story that sticks out with me though was when John Wesley was travelling with a young preacher who he shared a room with for a night. When they laid down, the young preacher wanted to visit and gain some wisdom from John. John cut him off with this rebuke: When I go to bed I go to bed to sleep, and not to talk.
John Wesley was one of the most productive people to ever live. He didn’t sacrifice sleep. He protected it. By protecting sleep and sabbath, you’re not being weak. You are acknowledging your limitations and your reliance on the Holy Spirit.
- Wespath: https://www.wespath.org/
- Virgin Pulse app (Google Play): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.virginpulse.virginpulse&hl=en_US&gl=US
- Virgin Pulse app (Apple): https://apps.apple.com/us/app/virgin-pulse/id793322895
- Email the Benefits Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kevin Watson’s The Band Meeting: https://www.amazon.com/Band-Meeting-Kevin-Watson/dp/162824495X
- Full Focus Planner: https://fullfocus.co/planner/
- Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep: https://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Sleep-Unlocking-Dreams/dp/1501144324
- Self Authoring Suite: https://www.selfauthoring.com/