TAKE A FRIEND ALONG
We all know that it’s more fun to pamper yourself when you get to do so with someone else! When the pampering activity is a fun one, we increase our pleasure by adding the company of a good friend. Other times—when the pampering item requires pain or hard work—we seek friends for mental/emotional support, a friend who will keep us accountable and will help us follow through implementing the “pampering plan” until new fruit can be seen in our life. In our spiritual life we too often underestimate the value of a godly friend to keep us accountable to follow a plan to weed out the old habits and implement new (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). Seeing a carnal reflection in the mirror of God’s Word is a solo activity. Determining to do something about that reflection is a solo decision. But following through often necessitates an accountability partner—that person with whom you can be vulnerable.
Not a person who will judge you or be expected to perform miracles for you, but that friend with whom you can be transparent as you share what God’s mirror revealed to you. That friend who can help you find the right tool (aka: verse) from God’s Word to help pamper that area of your mind. That friend who will help you learn to use the tool effectively. That friend who will pray with and for you—and then follow up and encourage you to stay on the straight and narrow (Hebrews 3:13, 10:24). Since making new habits requires rooting out old ones, the process of implementing God’s tool in lieu of an old-nature habit will most certainly be riddled with failures. When on our own, Satan (that roaring lion—II Peter 3:9) fosters the lie that “you can’t change. It’s just who you are!” When on our own, our flesh says “I can’t, I won’t, I quit.” A good friend, however, says, “You can, you CAN, YOU CAN through Christ who strengtheneth you!” and brings you before the Throne of Grace, seeking help (Hebrews 4:16) as you engage in a battle between the flesh and the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17). She will keep you accountable and will help you follow through implementing the “pampering plan” until new Christlike fruit can be seen in you.
PERSEVERE UNTIL YOU REFLECT THE IMAGE GOD DESIRES
Mental, emotional and physical weariness are battles we face when pampering certain parts of our outward appearance. Exercise wears us out physically and diet wears us down emotionally, but to quit without seeing the outward fruits from your labor is unbeneficial to you! Perseverance is quite possibly the hardest characteristic to implement when our “wants” battle our “needs”. Replacing carnal fruit with spiritual requires patience, time, patience, diligence, patience, temperance, patience, grace and did I mention patience? Perseverance and patience…the two attributes we tremble to ask others to pray for on our behalf! Often when we revert to our unpampered-mind-mentality we grow frustrated with ourselves, irritated that we’ve stumbled yet again. Remember what Solomon through God’s divine inspiration wrote in Proverbs 24:16a, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” Notice it does not say that the just individual is victorious every time she attempts to live righteously. No, she is considered righteous for confessing her sin, rising back up, learning from the stumble but not dwelling on it (Philippians 3:13). Falling is a given; it’s what you choose to do after you fall that will determine whether or not you’re committed to spiritually pampering your mind and seeing new fruit in your life. Keep pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus—that is, a pampered mind that brings forth Christlike fruit.
Allow me to ask you how well do you know the tools found in God’s Word? How are you doing with implementing them? Do you see a sister who exhibits fruit of a spiritually pampered mind? Learn from her! Do you see a sister struggling to utilize a tool you’ve mastered? Teach her! Don’t shy away from the hard work of self-sacrifice and the pain of letting go of the old man’s way of handling life. Let’s become experts at using God’s tools, readily employing different methods so that we—and others in our lives—may enjoy the fruits cultivated by a spiritually pampered mind.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”Philippians 2:5