Get Up!

Jan 16th, 2012 | By | Category: Faith

I usually write about spiritual matters in the column, but this time I’m taking things a little further to where the rubber meets the road. Only because what the Lord has convicted me of lately is not a spiritual challenge but my own physical inactivity.

Brothers and sisters, I’ve noticed that when it comes to changes that affect our physical and food habits we’re far more likely to talk the talk and fail to walk the walk – and I mean that literally and figuratively.

Now I can’t sit and point fingers, because there are three more pointing back at me.

When a brother or sister talks to us about caring for God’s temple (Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? –I Cor. 6:19 ) and how we ought to care for it – mixing that spiritual with the physical, we nod and say amen, with downcast eyes, momentarily convicted of the need for change. But then along comes a piece of cake.

Statistically speaking, a quarter of Americans between the ages of 40 and 70 are obese, according to data from the US Census Bureau. Since 1980, obesity rates have risen three-fold or more in some areas of North America, statistics show.

For African Americans, the statistics are even more dismal. Higher rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes – all controllable conditions directly related to eating and exercise habits – and more death from those diseases as well.

Our kids, too, are out of control, and how can we blame them, if we’ve been their nearest and dearest example?

Saints, I know we have prayer, and that’s the most powerful tool the Lord left us with. I won’t discount it. But should it be a crutch when we’ve stood convicted of sin and taken it lightly?

The Apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 6:1-2, “Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any more in it?”

Maybe it’s my own father’s death from heart disease and complications with diabetes. Maybe I’m just trying to force on myself what I don’t want disease to force on me. Maybe it’s just that I’m finally getting the message. Who knows?

All I know is that now that I have grasped the urge for transformation, I’m compelled to do it and committed to making a change, both in diet and in deed.

It’s one that’s been a long time coming, and that started with more healthy choices in my eating. Now I’m committing to more physical activity – more walking, running and playing. More jumping and more stretching. Definitely more sweating. I want to be able, for many, many years more, to tell the world that Jesus lives. Won’t you join me?

If you’re not ready to get off the sofa, I hope that you’re at least wrapping your mind around the issue and asking the Lord to help you to make changes where you know you’re reluctant. And when you’re ready, grab a brother or sister to walk with you on your journey.

God knows, our hearts – both physical and spiritual – could use it.

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