Monday, October 15, 2007

It's Not Optional


I did a sit-up once. It was uncomfortable. So I stopped.
I lifted weights one day. They were heavy. So I quit.
I’m not really into exercise - and I have the body to prove it.

Sadly, I don’t think I’m alone. Recent studies have indicated that only 12% of American adults regularly engage in vigorous exercise five times a week or more.

Why is that? Why are we so sedentary? Here is my theory:
I think most of us have enough unpleasant things in our lives that we must do (washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, waxing eyebrows) that when it comes to “optional” unpleasant stuff, like exercising, we’d just as soon pass.

But, while physical exercise may in some ways be optional, godly exercise, working out spiritual disciplines, is an absolute must.

Here is the Apostle Paul in1 Tim 4:7b-8 “…Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

Spiritual disciplines like prayer, scripture reading and monetary giving are not always easy or pleasant. Taking care of widows and orphans is seldom convenient. But, while we may be able to skip the sit-ups and jumping jacks this week, we should never neglect the very needful thing of exercising ourselves toward godliness.

Pray and ask God to teach you spiritual disciplines. Set your alarm in the morning. Turn off the TV at night. Find a brother or sister who will be a spiritual exercise partner – a workout buddy for Jesus. Do whatever you have to do fight against the spiritually sedentary lifestyle that permeates our culture and be someone who is training them self to fight the good fight of faith.

Sit-ups and weight lifting may be optional but exercising ourselves toward godliness is a must.

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