Here are some things I have trouble doing:
1. Stepping on a scale
2. Having my blood pressure checked
3. Scheduling the blood test to have cholesterol levels checked
Now the reality is that none of these things are very
hard. I have a scale in the bathroom. I could go to the drugstore and get my blood pressure checked. I actually have a doctor's note for the blood tests to be taken. (And no, I'm not afraid of needles or freaked out by the sight of blood.) On the difficulty scale of things in my life, these rank very, very low.
So why are these things so hard?
It's not because I don't want to know. I do. The problem, I think, lies in this: these numbers will tell me the unequivocal truth about myself, which will then demand that I take the appropriate action.
Right now I am free to "choose" to do healthy things. It's an option. I'm smart, wise, even "cool" for doing them. If a choose to splurge every once in a while, no big deal. This is all optional; it's just a safeguard. No pressure. But if the numbers tell a bad story, then I must do the healthy thing, or I'm foolish, short-sighted and undisciplined. In other words, truth, especially unpleasant truth, comes with obligation. And obligation demands a change in lifestyle.
I think this dynamic is true in every area of life, not just our physical health. We want the truth but we cringe a little at the obligations that truth brings. We want the truth about our standing at work, the state of our relationships, the weightiness of our lives, but we fear that unpleasant truth will obligate us to substantially change our lifestyle. Change or lose. Change or die. There is no "freedom" here, there's pressure. It's as though truth and freedom are opposed to each other.
Yet Jesus said that it is the truth that leads to freedom! Truth is freedom's friend, freedom's genesis, freedom's ally. So maybe this is the crux of the matter: Real freedom isn't the capacity to do what I want, it's the capacity to do what I ought. Truth tells me what I ought to do - it points me down the right path. God helps me to walk down that path, to fulfill that obligation. This is what real freedom looks like. And it is this kind of freedom that produces a life well-lived; a long life of joy and substance.
So let's get the truth and live in freedom.