Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Scripture reminds us that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are a gift, and we must take care of them. This is easier said than done for folks like me. Too often, I don't eat healthy. Fast food becomes my escape in the business of life. Exercise comes when I am chasing my kids around trying to get them to do what I want them to do. I'll be the first to admit that I don't always take care of my body.
At the beginning of each new year, many of us make the resolution to eat right and get in shape. All too often we burn out too quickly. The reasons are many, but we can pray about it. Are we burned out because we are putting too much pressure on ourselves? What is the reason we are trying to get fit? Too look great in our swimsuit? Because we are unsatisfied with our bodies and want them to change? Just to be healthier? Ultimately, shouldn't our goal be to have healthy bodies so we may better serve Christ?
I say, "yes."
But perseverance is sometime a problem. We get down on ourselves if we miss a workout session or if we give in and eat something not so healthy. We feel like we have failed and give up. But don't. Don't give up.
God's Word is so encouraging in times like this when we feel like we've lost it, there's no use, we are failures. Satan would love for us to continue to believe that, but we don't have too. My suggestion is to work out to songs of praise. Yes, focus on God instead of yourself while you work out.
I remember reading God Strong and feeling like Sara Horn. I wanted to get in shape and look fabulous when my husband returned from deployment. What woman doesn't want to look and feel sexy for her husband. Sara went and loaded her iPod with songs she felt would make the workouts more intense. Sara said she needed "fast and loud and tough and strong." She left off the songs that reminded her of God's goodness and love. She later realized what a mistake that was when she saw she was doing this workout thing "alone." She needed to get her strength from God.
I learned so much from that one paragraph in her book. I am a music lover. Kiss. Matchbox Twenty. Keith Urban. Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Beach Boys. You name it, I probably love it. But the older I get, and maybe the closer to God I become, the music I consume has changed. Now don't get me wrong, I still love a good country love song or some good dancing in the kitchen with my kids music, but the songs of God's love, grace, and mercy touch me.
I am a lover of words. Words have such power in them and can do awesome things if we use them correctly. These songs that we call Christian music have such power. When I haven't had the words to say, a little David Crowder helped me cry out to the Lord. When I ached over losing my baby due to miscarriage, Blessings helped me realize there is a bigger picture, a future I can't fathom. God's Word put to music is simply amazing. Imagine what it can do to our self image.
As you are continuing to become a better you through diet and exercise, I want to encourage you to surround yourself with Christian music. Just try it and see how your attitude changes, how your soul changes. I'd like to leave you with a few songs that encourage me while I am walking those endless miles on the treadmill. If you have any you would like to share, let me know in the comments section. I'd love to hear about them.
Big Daddy Weave - Yours Will Be (The Only Name)
Steven Curtis Chapman - Do Everything and Love Take Me Over
Mandisa - Overcomer
Matthew West - Hello My Name Is
Chris Tomlin - Whom Shall I Fear
Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.