This is the second in a series that explores the many reasons why we do not have as much success in the Christian life as we think we should.
Part Two of discipline is – Physical
Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I Corinthians 9: 26-27
- Run with purpose – Never forget the reason for the restrictions and activities needed to accomplish the goal. The reason will give the motivation.
- Make our bodies a slave – Instead of our urges controlling us, we control them and for a greater good.
- Not be disqualified- Taking care of ourselves is important to us, to God and our influence on others. It is not about looks, but about a balanced life. More than just our eating, it is our living.
- The prize – We are living an obedient life. From that perspective we will be better balanced to face life’s many hard blows.
The Live It theme of First Place 4 Health promotes healthy lifestyle. It is not built on what you cannot do; it is built on what you can do.
- The basic food plan of First Place 4 Health has been consistent since it’s conception. It is not a fad that the next best seller promotes; it is based on nationally recognized eating principles that has changed little over the years and is constantly being researched by the best nutrition and health specialist.
- The information is good – but doing it is better. The exercise component is vital to good success. It is not unreasonable. It calls for each person to begin where they are and keep moving to where they need to go. One step at a time if necessary. But always pushing forward.
Why Don’t We?
Can you believe some people just love to live healthy lives? Don’t you wish you were drawn to eating only healthy foods and loved long early morning runs? I don’t! They are work for me. So if our bodies are made to run better on the right foods and consistent exercise, why don’t we do it?
- I don’t know what to do – Most of us know more of what we should do than we do, but there certainly is more that we can learn. First Place 4 Health is a wonderful setting for encouraging us to do what we know to do, but doing it with purpose and discipline. There are many tips for success, lessons from others experiences and new information about healthy/tasty cooking, ways to eat out/eat smart and helpful exercise suggestions.
- I can’t be consistent – Until something is a priority, consistency is not going to happen. Most of our lives are busy and we only get done what makes it to the top of our “to do” list. The accountability of First Place 4 Health encourages us to build consistency in ways we have not done on our own. The weekly weigh in and the review of the Live It eating plan for the week are ways to keep us thinking during the week about: eating that donut or sleeping just 20 minutes more instead doing of the early morning walk. Once we build these in our lives we may not love it, but we will miss them when we stop doing them.
- I tried that but… –If the main reason for doing the right thing is for quick results, then maybe we need to spend more time on part one of this series –the “Spiritual.” Doing the good thing over a period of time will bring results – our bodies have no choice but to respond. But patience in the process will bring quicker results to our attitude and spiritual well being just by being obedient to that which is right. It builds strength of character and confidence.
- I get out of my pattern and then… – We are creatures of habit and when our healthy patterns are broken, it is often very difficult to get back at it. Maybe we need to experience some grace. If we allow guilt and an “I give up” attitude to discourage us, then it is even harder. We are on a journey to wholeness and when we get off of the track, we may lose time, but we do not have to lose our way. Start where we left off or if we really got sidetracked, start back slowly, but with reasonable goals to resuming the previous pace. Delaying due to self-defeating attitudes will only make us fall back further.
The disciplines of First Place 4 Health are not arbitrary – they are a purposeful plan for building healthy lives one day at a time, but with eternal results.
Dr. Bill Heston
Dr Bill Heston is Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Houston and is Licensed in Marriage and Family Therapy.