Just about anywhere you look, you can find a new book, article or post on losing weight or staying fit. As a matter of fact, just about every time I’d visit Pinterest, images of other women’s abs and biceps would inundate me. I believe in health and think it’s only responsible that we take care of our bodies – the temples that God has given us- but, in full disclosure, I got so tired of seeing posts about “How to have the best butt ever” and seeing pictures of women’s bums in underwear that I specifically stopped following all “health and fitness” boards of anyone that I followed. Is that terrible of me? Maybe, but it helps me keep my sanity and my confidence/security in my body in check.
There’s so much talk about how to keep ourselves in shape physically, but I wonder how many of us think about getting in a spiritual workout. 1 Timothy 4:8 mentions this directly:
“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.”
I heard my pastor speak on this topic as it relates to churches. He was talking about what made for a healthy church. He discussed that healthy churches are those that follow scripture and are obedient to the Great Commission (making & baptizing disciples). Healthy churches go – they go locally, regionally and internationally; they are obedient; they are Christ-centered and gospel-focused.
My pastor also mentioned what makes churches crumble – preferences. When churches become more concerned with what is comfortable and familiar, that’s a sure bet it will start to crumble.
That got me thinking about my spiritual health. Do I cater to my own preferences and refuse to obey the Word of God because I’d prefer to stick with my routine and what’s familiar? It was convicting. I realized that often, I am a person of strong preference….”No, God, I’d rather not do what you’re calling me to do, I’m quite comfortable sitting on my couch watching this episode of Castle that I’ve seen 5 times already.” It’s silly.
As I continued to think about what my pastor had said, there was a particular scripture that the Holy Spirit brought to my mind. And it’s this:
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” -John 3:30
And that’s my prayer. It’s a daily workout, trust me. It takes a lot of hard work, but as we read earlier, scripture promises that our spiritual training will hold value both here and in the life to come.