Inward And Upward Resolve

Working in the fitness industry you see and hear it all. This time of year, you hear the most common statement, “I resolve to lose weight or get ‘buff’ this year.” All across the country, fitness classes and fitness centers are packed, and by March, up to 60% of the “newbies” will be gone. When you ask someone what their resolution is, it is most likely geared towards there outward appearance, not really their health or wellbeing. Now, that is not always the case, but more often than not it is. Vanity has consumed this society, and I am not immune to it, always wanting to look better, to fit the “mold” that we are told is appropriate, and to fit into those size 2 jeans that I wore back in 6th grade. Oh wait, I never wore that size. Ugh. What if we stopped focusing on what is not important in this world, stopped trying to be conformed to this world, and switched the focus inward and upward, to what really matters?
Now, I am not saying that working on your health or fitness goals is a waste of time. I would be out of a job if I believed that! Giving up cigarettes or Krispy Kreme donuts to try and get your cholesterol down, or decrease your risk for multiple illnesses is a reasonable goal. Health is important, taking care of our bodies is important, but I think we should view them a bit differently than the world’s view. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples 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 bodies.” If you are a born again Christian, you know this to be true, and taking care of our health and well being is a worthy goal. However, why do even Christians struggle with perfection, with losing those last 10 pounds just to fit the mold? If you are healthy and fit, does it really matter if you can fit into a certain size or look like the latest supermodel to impress someone? Again, I am female, I am in the fitness world, and I am subject to all of this as well, so I get it. It stinks.
So, how do we change our views? How do we turn the focus more inward and upward, and resolve to do something that has more meaning or to just get our eyes on Jesus and quit looking at our friend’s tiny waist?? Change the focus to include what truly matters in life, not the “fluff,” that when you are buried in the ground, will not mean a thing. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God, fortunately, could care less about what size you wear or how perfect you look. What matters is your heart, do you know him, and what are you doing for His kingdom? Now, do not take that the wrong way…”works” do not get you into heaven. It is not a pass. Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” So, “being good, doing good, even looking good” do not matter. Sorry to burst your bubble.
On the flip side of that, what freedom we can have in Jesus! On our own, with our own strength, we cannot defeat this world or its opinions, however, with His strength, all things are possible. I once was told by a nutritionist that we need to train our digestive system just like we train our bodies. So, for example, when you are training for a marathon, you need to “trial” different food/liquid options to see what will work for you and what will not, come race day. I believe we need to also train our mind and our spirit as much, if not more than we do our bodies. Again, it is the important part of life, what we were designed to do. We were made in His image for His glory, so we should all be training and renewing our minds in His word. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 states, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 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.”
What makes one want to train for godliness? A shift in priorities, and a relationship with Jesus is the only way. If you are wrapped up in this world, which many of us are, or have been, you will continue to run on that hamster wheel, for no other reason than to fit into those size 0s, but if you meet Jesus and begin a relationship with Him, He will adjust your priorities, and change the desires of your heart. You will crave it, desire it, and find a reward in it that FAR outweighs anything that a treadmill, a certain size, a certain look, or an acceptance from others, can give you. Go ahead and keep a few of your noteworthy, healthy goals, but also set your eyes inward and upward, on a more worthwhile pursuit, and the outward appearance will change all on its own in more ways than one, with joy filled smiles, and a renewed, healthy mind!

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