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Today’s Truth

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19

Friend to Friend

It is much easier to give in to sin or yield to temptation when we are physically depleted. Discipline begins in the mind and then travels to the body. I can hear you groaning already, but stay with me. Sin and temptation often find their greatest opportunity to work in the body.

I have struggled with diet and exercise from childhood. Part of my struggle is rooted in “fluffy” genes lovingly passed down to me through several generations of “fluffy” relatives. The remainder of my struggle is firmly rooted in the fact that I enjoy eating, hate exercise, and sometimes use food as an emotional outlet. Consequently my weight has fluctuated over the years like a championship yo-yo.

Satan rejoiced as I deemed myself “worthy” when I lost the weight and “unworthy” when I gained it back. Guilt and shame attached themselves to every bite of food, while the Battle of the Bulge became the War of Worthiness.

Marriage, motherhood, and ministry brought new weapons into the fray. Ridiculously crowded schedules and chronic fatigue seemed to be regarded as holy Medals of Honor. I quickly learned the unspoken rules of successful Christian living – rest is for the wicked, exhaustion is for the holy, fast food is for the fully devoted, and burnout is the ultimate goal. At times, I can almost hear Satan, standing in the wings, laughing at my skewed priorities and lack of discipline, knowing that his opening is just around the corner.

There is simply no way around the truth that discipline is part of trusting God with our health. We cannot give our hearts to God but keep our bodies for ourselves. To do so is sin. It’s time for a new plan and a new way of thinking when it comes to disciplining the body.

  • Eliminate diets. Replace all “diets” with a “healthy eating plan.” Fad diets are quick-fixes and rarely work long-term. A healthy eating plan requires a lifestyle change, and is not only a matter of how much we weigh, but a matter of what we eat as well. Many thin people follow diets that are just as unhealthy as the diets of overweight people. Ask yourself, “Is this good for me?” instead of “Is this fattening?” A healthy eating plan honors God.
  • Get moving. A friend once told me her favorite exercise was opening and closing the refrigerator door. Hmm … not good! Set realistic goals in the area of exercise. Start with 15 minutes a day, three times a week. Gradually increase that time. Choose an activity with a dual purpose. For example, while you are walking, you can pray. Walking can be a healthy way of dealing with anger, venting frustration to God instead of to others. A walk can also serve as a “mini-retreat” during a chaotic day. Ask God to change your perspective on exercise – then take the first step. He will meet you there.
  • Learn to rest. Rest is not an option if we are to function at our best. We sometimes stay busy because we are afraid to face our past or even the future. Guilt keeps us moving, trying to prove our worth.

For most of my adult life I have wrongly equated being busy with being productive. I am guilty as charged when it comes to living each day in overdrive. The result has always been exhaustion and watered-down living.

We are masters of rationalizing our way to man’s approval. I am convinced that when we are willing to surrender our lives to the tyranny of the urgent, the enemy will keep ‘em coming – people who need us immediately, those who clamor for our attention above our family and our personal relationship with God.

The chorus in one of my favorite worship songs says:

Lord, I give you my heart.

I give You my soul.

I live for You alone.

Every breath that I take

Every moment I’m awake,

Lord, have Your way in me.

Join me in a new commitment to become fit for life – for our good and God’s glory.

Let’s Pray

Father, I recognize my body as Your temple. Forgive me for the times when I do not care for it in a way that honors and pleases You. Give me the strength to eat right, exercise and learn to rest. I have given You my heart. I now give You my body. Glorify Yourself in and through me, Lord.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Memorize today’s key verse of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV).

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”

Which one of the following steps do you need to take first in order to honor God with your body?

_____ Eliminate diets

_____ Get moving

_____ Learn to rest

More from the Girlfriends

I know it is hard to deal with temptation when it comes to treating our bodies in a godly way. Need help? Check out Mary’s book, Fit for Life. It will help you explore four areas of fitness and health – spiritual, physical, mental and emotional. Within each one of these areas, Fit for Life examines principles relating to rest, diet and exercise.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

11 Responses to “Fit for Life Part 1”

  1. Jacqueline says:

    Thank you for today devotion. I really needed it

  2. Kim says:

    Great reminder!!

  3. Cristy says:

    Thank you!!! 💖 Today is the day I had already half heartedly committed to a healthy lifestyle! I need this!

  4. Colleen says:

    Thank you. Today’s devotional spoke volumes.

  5. Mary Alice says:

    I am trying to get back into diet and exercise after an injury last fall. What I plan to do and what actually happens are usually two completely different paths. I am committed today to give the Lord control of my eating and exercise habits. To be healthy and happy for me, my family and to praise God. Thank you, Mary for the reminder that my body is a gift from God and I need to honor and praise him in ALL that I do with it.

  6. Teikisha says:

    This devotion was right on time for me. I need to quit trying to find a ‘quick fix’ to dropping 10-15 lbs toward getting the desired body type that I want and start to develop a healthy lifestyle to eating right and treating my body like the Godly temple that it truly is. Thanks for this awakening!

  7. Gayle says:

    This was His perfect timing as usual!! Thank you!!!

  8. Kenya says:

    This message was right on time. Thank you!!

  9. Dodie says:

    Thank you for the encouraging word today. I was just discusing my sruggles with my weight with a friend just last night. God has perfect timing.

  10. I think this sound and sage advice. I was was concerned that rest was being lazy, but His rest is mandatory for healing and even mental well being. I have found that many times I will crave certain things, apples or even raisins and I will drink milk with a peanut butter sandwich. There are lots of ways to incorporate protein. I knew God was looking at me differently than a scale when I weighed the same one week of low carb and the same the next eating Girl Scout cookies, and if you need to sleep 10 hrs.

  11. Dorthy says:

    This was an eye opener for me.

    Gave God my heart but keep the
    Body to treat it like a dumping
    For all the trash we feel to store up
    Wow…. TSS so much.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8