Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Daily Decision to Be Healthy

Discipline is an idea in fitness I've known for a long time, but recently, I'm learning how it applies in other areas of my life. While the motivation to hit the weights and get my cardio in comes fairly easy to me (comparatively-speaking), the discipline needed to guard my heart is a work-in-progress. Much like a learned fitness schedule and new workout, disciplining the soul can cause soreness. Getting out of my comfort zone is expected during a workout, but I'm learning how to replicate that idea in the rest of my life, like just being a good person, being a vessel for God's light.

Paul said to buffet your body like a boxer (1 Corinthians 9:27). Some scholars might say Paul was simply speaking about disciplining his mind, will and emotions, but I believe Paul was also referring to his physical being. I'm thinking that traveling back in those days was tiring in the least. I'm thinking that to make the week-long trips by foot or maybe donkey, in order to get to the next city to preach the Gospel, he had to be in pretty good health. I'm thinking physical fitness was important to him. After all, he knew our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, from which the health of that body determines how effective we are at shining His light.

So my thoughts about this discipline thing are these .... 

1. Discipline takes effort of the soul (mind, will and emotions). 
Do you ever have days you don't feel like working out? Or maybe you feel like eating pizza? OR you feel like ignoring the person trying to talk to you in the gym while you're rocking out to your new workout remix? Ya, it takes discipline to not be completely and utterly selfish. It's easy to do what we want in the moment. It's tough to do what we need to do in the moment. So, in short, yes, discipline takes a little will power, but will power won't make discipline. 

2. Discipline takes your willingness to submit to God.
What I've learned in many tests (that I've had to retake over and over again) is that no matter how strong-willed I may be, I'm not strong enough to do any good thing on my own. It is only by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life that I'm blessed. I'm sorry, but I can't stand it when #FitFam peeps and other members of the fitness industry boast about how hard they've worked to get where they are, and post supposedly "inspirational" memes subjecting others to thinking that they themselves must not be working hard enough.

Let's get this straight. Working hard gets the job done, but it does not promise joy. Unless you accept Jesus as the only way to true peace and happiness, you will find yourself criticizing either yourself or someone else in hopes to feel better. And then we're back to the whole disciplining your soul again, your feelings. If you make decisions throughout life based on feelings, you're sure to get off track. I've been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.

In Romans 8 (Amplified Version), Paul encourages us to die to our flesh and to come alive in spirit by accepting Jesus Christ. He says we have to choose daily to deny our flesh and discipline our soul. I'm learning it doesn't matter how good I was yesterday, I've got to choose to be good today. And the earlier in the day I can make that choice, the better. 

We have to habitually choose to deny flesh (vs 13). When we live by our flesh, we are slaves to sin; we're impulsive, fearful, selfish, envious and bitter. When we lived renewed in the spirit, we have a peace that passes all understanding, and although we face trials, we are redeemed by the joy of God. He not only redeems our spirit, so that we go to Heaven, but He give us a chance to enjoy our life, free of insecurities, jealousy, sickness and lack of energy. 

3. Discipline your soul as you discipline your body. 
One of the main things I tell my clients and others I coach at Orangetheory and ZYN22 is that anyone can give you a workout. There are free nutrition resources, recipes and workouts all over the Internet. The thing that sets me apart, or at least I try to uniquely encumber this, is that I see coaching as a way to draw out the light God's placed in each of us. Another thing I tell my clients is that they can perform an awesome workout and follow their meal plan 100 percent and still not switch to a healthy lifestyle. In order to remain truly healthy and fit from the inside out, you must dig deep to discover the calling on your life and the value in embracing your weaknesses. If you reflect on this daily, you will learn how to embrace moments of pain with perseverance and over time, gain strength.

Working out is like breaking off our flesh, and embracing a new identify, like one found in Christ. We must share his suffering (Jesus) if we are to share his glory (vs 17). The glory of God is found in the daily chiseling of our body, the building up of our temple (physical/spiritual), shredding layers of flesh (physical/spiritual). It's both by nature and by intention, Gods intention, for us to feel frustrated with life without choosing the grace and freedom only He can provide (vs 20-21). So on days you feel discouraged, remember that God allows you to feel that way in hopes you will choose to seek him earnestly and become dependent on Him for strength, endurance and power.

The Holy Spirit strengthens us when we are weak, just like the days we have put in at the gym support you on your off days. You must put in the work to see the results. And when you grow weary and don't see the results you're waiting for, you must rely on the hope and faith essential to walking a disciplined, healthy life, despite how you feel (vs 25, 28).

This is why it's so important for us to be committed to our physical disciplines (nutrition and exercise), and also to implement spiritual disciplines (prayer, scripture and worship) in order to receive the complete gift of life available to us, - and more so, to enjoy life every day.

For more tips and resources, follow me on social media: FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. Also, check out my Services to find out how I can personally help you get fit from the inside out. 

1 comment:

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