Don’t you know that all the runners in the stadium run, but only one gets the prize? So run to win. Everyone who competes practices self-discipline in everything. The runners do this to get a crown of leaves that shrivel up and die, but we do it to receive a crown that never dies. So now this is how I run—not without a clear goal in sight. I fight like a boxer in the ring, not like someone who is shadowboxing. Rather, I’m landing punches on my own body and subduing it like a slave. I do this to be sure that I myself won’t be disqualified after preaching to others (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Common English Bible).
Look at me! All it really takes is one look at me and you will know, I am NOT, I repeat, NOT, the person who should be writing a blog post about being fit. When you see me, while I am probably not the least fit person you will encounter, I am also far from the top rung of the ladder.
The truth is, since I got the list of popular New Year’s Resolutions I have avoided this one like the plague. I have avoided it because I recognize I am not the person who should be giving advice. I shouldn’t be the person to write this because I am overweight and more than just a few pounds. Yet if I am going to include this possible New Year’s Resolution, it is down to now or never time as there are only two left in this series.
So, I decided I would use the advice from a web page I ran across while searching for the right Scripture to use with this particular post. While on Beliefnet, I found an article titled “Seven Bible Verses to Motivate You to Exercise (I will also confess here, even after reading them, I am no more motivated to exercise and get fit than I was before I started writing).”
This is what they had to say about exercise:
Don’t make exercise a halfhearted endeavor! Set goals, create a plan, and then execute it. Don’t be afraid to pray for help.
God will help you and reward your fitness efforts, if they are done in His service and not out of vanity or selfishness. Put your trust in God, and He will guide you.
Nothing is impossible with God! Certainly we have to look at our human limits—it would be difficult to run a marathon if you are in your 60’s with severe arthritis—but don’t be afraid to set lofty goals. Dedicate your workouts to Christ and see if that doesn’t make a difference.
Your workouts can give glory to God. You can pray while you walk, meditate while you swim or simply put yourself in God’s presence in the weight room. The possibilities are endless.
It’s important to include strength training exercises as part of your fitness program. Not only will everyday chores and activities become easier, but you will also strengthen your bones. Try lifting weights, using stretch cords or bands, medicine balls, kettlebells, or simple body weight calisthenics.
Discipline is critical for success in both your spiritual life and in a fitness program. Try keeping a journal to chart your progress. You can use one section to log your exercise goals and accomplishments and another to record your spiritual aspirations and successes.
To really get motivated, sign up for a race or event and train for it. Better yet, ask a friend or family member to join you and train together. Fitness is important and can give us more energy to help others, but it’s crucial to keep your focus on the ultimate goal—eternal life in heaven.
As I said, I am among the last people who should be talking to you about being fit, so I am going to stop right now.
Can you help others. Leave a comment for others on how they might get fit in this New Year.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved