Resolve to Be Fit!
It seems as if every year I make a goal to live healthy. I start out very dedicated to the resolution, but as the year goes on, I become less committed. I know that I am not alone, so the purpose of this article is to encourage us all to stay committed to the resolution. It doesn't matter if the resolution is made at the beginning of the year or in the middle, the point is to resolve to be physically fit. At the same time we should also commit to being spiritually fit. It is pointless to spend time, money, and energy on being physically fit, if our spiritual man is out of shape. God want us to be whole healthy, to have spiritual, physical, and emotional health. He wants, and we should want, our spirit man strong, our bodies strong, and our souls strong. I Timothy 4:8 (NIV) says, "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." This scripture mentions physical training, but it emphasizes spiritual training being of most importance. We know what to do to be in shape, if want to lose weight or be healthy, we know to exercise and eat right; we even know what to do to grow spiritually, read and study the Word of God, have a consistent devotion time, and pray; so, this passage is not so much about how to be physically and spiritually fit, but WHY we should stay committed to this resolution.
The first reason, is so that we can LIVE. One of the major benefits of exercise is that it combats health conditions and diseases, releasing "good," cholesterol, to keep the blood flowing smoothly, which decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, arthritis, diabetes, and depression. After having my third child, my blood pressure was very high and the doctor warned me that I was risking my life. So, I began to exercise. Being spiritually fit, helps us to LIVE, as well. Proverbs 4:23 encourages us to turn from evil ways, guarding our hearts because from our hearts flows the issues of life. When we do this, we allow our heart to be molded by God, pumping the things of God, love, joy, peace, self-control (Galatians 5:22).
The second reason is so that we can Look Good. Physical fitness helps us look good because our clothes fit better on our body frame. One of my main reasons of getting in shape is to fit back into my old clothes. So, in the natural we workout to lose weight to look good in our clothes. However, looking good is a reason to be concerned about spiritual training as well. We have to be careful that we are not wearing the wrong things in the spirit and are able to "fit" the things God has called us to wear. What should we be able to fit in/wear if we are spiritually fit? Colossians 3:13 – 14 says “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. It’ll be hard to fit into these things if we’re not spiritually fit. Just like physical fitness help us shed unwanted fat, Colossians 3:8, tells us what we need to shed in the spiritual, “8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, So, let us not only work hard to physically look good, but spiritually, as well.
Lastly our resolution to be fit, physically and spiritually, is too last, or endure. It is important that we have the strength and energy to do the tasks of life. Exercise increases our energy, improve our muscular strength, and boost our endurance. One of my reasons for wanting to get in shape is to run a 5k race, and I wanted to finish the race. So, in training for the race I noticed other benefits of my fitness, I was able to last outside playing with my energetic children, do house chores without winding too quickly, and last through an entire aerobics class. Spiritual fitness helps us to last as well. Hebrews 12:1 likens our spiritual journey to running a race, encouraging us to lay aside things that will keep us from enduring, or lasting. Our goal should be to run a spiritual race that will allow us to make it to the end, a life with Jesus in heaven.
So, now that we understand WHY it's important for us to stay committed to our resolution of being not only physically, but spiritually, in shape, let's make a pact to make this year, whenever we start to stick with our resolution! There are many benefits, but most importantly we want to live a life that is pleasing to God, so that we can run a race to help us make it to the end, hearing those words, "Well done" (Matthew 25:23).