Healthy Discipline

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this. Proverbs 3:5

Another one of my “first of the year” initiatives is to renew my vow to daily disciplined listening for and reflection of the Holy. This is the easy part. The next step is to discover what parts of scripture, what literature I will use to lead me. This is the interesting part. The hurdle, the really difficult part isn’t keeping with the discipline…it is the listening to and acting on the self-discoveries God leads me to.

I really do not want to know about all the mis-steps I make in being a child of God. I would much rather see the parts of my character that show how successful I am in life. Isn’t this the crux? Until I am ready to confront my sin, there’s very little change made, very little truth I can understand.

Thank God the instructions are, “Don’t try this by yourself.”



“Didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

January of most years I take inventory of my closet and make an honest reckoning of what is no longer suitable wear, either due to age or shifting weight. This process usually introduces a period of mourning for the body that was, the exercise that wasn’t, and the promises to be more effective in my “makeover”. Today, I’m wondering if my eagerness to reshape is flawed.

Is my desire to be fit born out of a need for social approval, or is it a response to honor the vessel where my soul resides? When I eat less ‘fast’ food, do I give the savings to help feed others? How do I use my new strength when I improve my stamina with regular exercise? Will I reduce my medical expense with healthy practices and be an example to my children?

Oh, my soul! How much more in tune with God’s grace you are when this body is free from hunger and pain! How much happier you are when this body runs and dances! How much more you love when anger and depression does not overcome your mood! It is true that a healthy body deals better with stress and can support the mind with more positive responses, and a more positive mind gives rise to an energized spirit. May we give that energy back to our Source, our Lord, Jesus Christ!