The truth is, I am not overly fond of exercise. I know I need it, but it is the getting there that I struggle with. There are just so many other things I’d rather be doing than strenuously stretching, lifting, hopping, and sweating.
I know that exercise is good for me. I know it will benefit my health, strength, stamina, and energy. I know it will keep my metabolism clicking away, and burn calories. It will enhance the appearance of my curves, and keep my wings from flapping. However, my motivation to get moving waxes and wanes. Recently, I’ve been waning more than waxing, and it shows.
What is it that keeps me from jumping out of bed and heading to the gym first thing in the morning? I could say that I have a ton of things to do, books to read, blogs to write, babies to sit, but the bottom line is, I’m lazy. Yep. I’m lazy. When it comes to exercise, I am not easily aroused to action or activity, which is the definition of laziness.
There is a switch that only I can flip, and right now, that switch is in the down position, and it has been for longer than I’d like to admit. It was up for a long time; for years, I diligently worked out regularly… but then… there was the week I had the flu, and then travel, and then one distraction after another, and before you knew it, the habit was broken.
The opposite of lazy is industrious. And, yes, I’m industrious, many people might even say that describes me well… just not when it comes to exercise. I do walk every day, nevertheless, walking simply does not utilize every muscle that needs to be worked, and I know that means I must get back to the gym.
This is one area where I cannot point my finger at anyone else and pass the blame around. Whether I exercise or not is completely up to me. I cannot use anyone else’s motivation, outcome, physical condition, or lack thereof, as my excuse. This is all on me. This is a choice only I can make, and the motivation for that choice must come from within me.
We could say the same thing about going to church or Bible study. Actually, everything I’ve written so far, if we replaced “exercise” with “Bible study” or “church attendance” – and if we switched “muscles and health” with “spiritual growth” – that just might describe many of us as well.
The reality is, there are times when we are much more apt to pick up a book about church, about the Bible, or about the way Christians are supposed to live than we are to pick up the Bible or go to church and apply what we learn. That is kind of like reading about how exercise will benefit us without actually going to the gym or exercising – it may sound good, but it doesn’t really change anything about us.
The Word of God changes us. It changes us from the inside out. It benefits us in ways we know, and in ways we cannot begin to imagine. It penetrates deep into our souls, into areas where we cannot reach, cleansing, purifying, and changing us for God’s good purposes.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12).
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.(Romans 12:2).
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
I will get back to the gym; perhaps this blog post is my accountability. After all, I do kind of enjoy the muscle pain the day after I exercise; it lets me know I’ve done something good for my body. In the same way a broken heart, or a convicted spirit lets me know that what I’ve heard at church, or learned in Bible study lets me know something good is happening in my soul.
This time of year many churches and Bible studies begin their new schedules. If you’ve fallen out of the habit of church, or if you have been thinking you need to get into a good Bible study, now is the time. However, only you can flip the switch. Only you can make the decision. Only you can motivate yourself to make it happen.
Sunday is coming. And you know the way to church. Sure, it’s a holiday weekend, but is there a better time to get started than now?
Isn’t it time to get your spiritual muscles stronger? What better way than making the choice to attend a Bible study this fall. Why not invite a friend – it’s always more fun to work out with someone else. If you are looking for a good Bible study, check your church’s website, or try Bible Study Fellowship (click here), or Community Bible Study (click here).
Will you commit to make this the last year when you are the spiritual weakling in your sphere of influence?
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