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Thou Shalt Watch Thy Waistline

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I HAVE A DIRTY LITTLE SECRET: I hate working out! I do it because at almost age 60, I want to make a difference for Jesus for many more years to come; also, I want to live long enough to see my daughters graduate college and get married. I want to die only when I’m holding one of their babies in my arms and, after looking lovingly in the child’s eyes, I whisper, “I love you, little Stevie….” then, suddenly, I’ll keel over. 

The Bible asks rhetorically, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Sadly, too many of us have not taken care of that sacred place where Jesus dwells. Instead of a temple made for him, we look more like the restroom of a Golden Corral after a football game.

Since the emphasis of the Good Book stresses a holy walk with the Lord by reading and obeying His Word, there is not a lot of stress on physical exercise, though the Apostle Paul does say to a young pastor named Timothy, “for physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:10)

When I was lean and mean in my twenties, I promised myself that I would never become a fat man in the bath tub, and would never sport a huge, protruding pot belly. Too many pastors preach about sinful excesses while barely able to buckle their pants. May I suggest that the two greatest secret sins in today’s America are laziness and gluttony Wait. Those are two of the seven deadly sins, are they not?

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” (3 John 1:2)

To maintain good health so you can continue to witness for Jesus long into your twilight years, please do not put it off until tomorrow. Start today. Several years ago, my youngest saw an advertisement on the side of Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant that said: “FREE CRABS TOMORROW!” Laurel was soooo excited that she couldn’t contain her enthusiasm and shouted, “Dad! Let’s come back tomorrow and get free crabs!” I burst her bubble by explaining that the sign would say the same thing tomorrow. And the tomorrow after. When it comes to working out, tomorrow never comes. There is always an excuse not to do it.

“Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees….” (Hebrews 12:12)

I never feel like working out and am always tired and hungry. I just accept that fact, and, get this…I exercise anyway! I’m certainly not trying to be a body builder, or an Olympic athlete, I just don’t want to be a big, good ole boy. We have enough heifers in the Hill Country.

If you don’t know where to start, start small. Walk for 20 minutes. Lift some light weights. Just do it daily. This isn’t for pride’s sake; this isn’t to gain a second glance from a stranger; this isn’t even to cobble a compliment. It’s for the Lord’s sake, so you can maximize your health in the service of Him!

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:20)

As it says in Zechariah 3:16—Just do it!

*Now, read how to eat for God’s glory here.

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