“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5 (KJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
I thought the long title might catch your interest. When Dr. Bennett, my cardiologist came to visit me in CCU, he told me that I have to lose some weight. He said, “I want you to lose 40 pounds. When your friends walk away after meeting you on the street, I want them to say (behind your back)‘Gosh, he looks bad. He’s so thin.’”
Well, that was discouraging to me. I’ve gone on a diet before, and I have lost a lot of weight. When I’m dieting, I’m always weak—almost too weak to do any work. And—here’s the saddest part—when I quit dieting, I always gain back the weight I lost and more!
What my previous diets have taught me is this: “Whatever you do to lose weight, you’ve got to be willing to do it for the rest of your life.” I’ve run upon a plan I think fits that description, and I want to share it with you. It is called “The No S Diet”.
The “No S Diet” is the brainchild of Reinhard Engels, who is a dear internet friend of mine. His diet plan can be summed up in only 14 words: “No Sweets, No Snacks, No Seconds, Except sometimes on days that start with ‘S’”. What this means is that you eat your meals each day, and everything you eat must fit on your plate.
(Mark Moore, nurse practitioner, who is my cardiologist’s right-hand-man, told me that ideally all of my food should fit on the “inner ring” of a dinner plate. The plan he recommended is called “The Plate Diet”.)
On the “No S Diet”, you won’t be eating between meals. Also, you won’t be eating sweets. On days that start with “S” (Saturday, Sunday, and Special Days) you can loosen up your restrictions a bit – sometimes. (You can read all the details at www.nosdiet.com, if you’re interested.)
No-essing takes a while to get used to, and it’s very hard at first. But, somehow, your body gets used to it. I’ve been losing weight, steadily, but very, very slowly. I weighed myself this morning, and I am down 7 pounds since I started on January 15th. I haven’t had the success we read about in ads like “Lose 20 pounds in 10 days”, but I’m hoping that this weight loss will be permanent. I intend, with the Lord’s help, to stay on this plan for the long haul. I’ll try to keep you updated on my progress.
If the Apostle Paul recommended a diet plan, it might be No-S. In today’s lesson from the Epistle (at the top) he says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men.” It seems to me that the last thing American dieters want is “moderation”. People want a diet plan in which they can eat everything that they want and still lose weight. Sometimes they’ll settle for a diet plan that avoids certain foods but allows them to be gluttons in another food group. Or, they try a diet plan where they eat very little or even nothing at all.
But Paul suggests a different course for all areas in our lives as we follow the Lord. Instead of living (and eating) “all or nothing,” he tells us to live a life of moderation.
He says that our moderation should be evident to everyone who sees us, and our gentle, moderate lives will be a testimony to the world around us. And he says that the Lord is near us, to help us daily as we strive to live lives of moderation.
Dear mama, always remember that the Scriptures don’t call you to be an ascetic or a fanatic but to lead a balanced life of holiness and kindness. Ask the Lord to help you find the proper balance in your life. May your moderation be evident to all this week, as the Lord is with you.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad” *Sing that title to the tune of “Secret Agent Man” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is beginning his third decade of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 17) and Seth (age 14) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where when the Preacher is asked by his wife, “What sounds good for supper?” he replies, “Pretty much everything.”). You should write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.