Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sunday Ramblings...The Shape I'm In

When was the last time you went running, flipped through the pages of a fitness magazine or at the very least talked about dieting with a friend. If you're an average American, you probably think about weight loss, exercise or other fitness issues at least five times a day. It has been engraved into our beings that fitness is essential to a healthy life. There's an obesity problem in our world and we've been called to fix that!
I wonder how much emphasis we put on keeping ourselves spiritually fit. Sure we might think about God once or twice a day. Maybe we say a silent prayer, which is great! But, we have a spirituality problem in our world that is millions of times more detrimental than the obesity problem in America yet very few are addressing it. Today, let's go through our spiritual fitness plan.

1. How do we know that we're spiritually out of shape? Well if we're not working on building our spiritual muscles, just like with our physical bodies, we're losing spiritual muscle mass. As we lose the good, we gain weight, but a different kind of weight then just Twinkies and extra cheese cause. We gain the weight of worries, of stress in our work or at school, the frustration that comes with handling difficult personalities in our lives. We begin to let our emotions run our lives instead of the facts from Biblical principles.
2. So...if I'm physically in shape, content with my job and life, there's no need to be in spiritual shape, right? Not so. We were made by our creator with a very great purpose. Each and every one of us have a duty that He placed us on this earth to do. If we are not spending time with Him daily that it is unlikely that we'll ever fully understand our calling in life. Also, we might be okay with our life when God is not in it but when he does enter our life, believe me, things will be much better than just okay! God fills hearts with a joy that is indescribable! Trying to explain the joy and peace that he brings is like trying to explain to a friend who doesn't like exercise, just how good running makes you feel.
3. Okay I know I'm out of spiritual shape, I know my life will be better when I get in shape but where do I start? This is a really simple one. Start in your Bible. If you're not very familiar with the Good Book, I'd turn right to James. This book speaks to me in ways that are completely applicable to my everyday life. I love it! After that, I'd read the "Gospels". That's Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These will help you to understand the Bible story. There are those of us who may have grown up in Christian homes, we know the Bible and we want to enhance ourselves even further. Well, no matter the number of times I read a book in the Bible I still learn new things. However, I do enjoy a good devotion book that is heavily supplemented with Biblical passages.

A spiritual workout plan, just like a physical one, can be very hard to stick to. You might get discouraged and miss a day. You might forget your reading materials at home when you're gone for the weekend. That's okay! Just make sure to "hit the gym" when you get home again! Soon, you'll be able to lose that spiritual weight and be building muscles of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

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