Recently my wife and I have decided that it is time to start living healthier lifestyles. We are starting to go to the gym more regularly, and we even have changed the way we eat at home. My wife always tells me, “You can’t outwork a bad diet.” Unfortunately for me, this is true. If I eat junk food, I will feel junky and my workouts won’t produce the results I want. On the flip side, when I eat right, I feel better, have more energy, and see results. I have realized that no matter how much work I put in at the gym, you cannot make up for a bad diet.
To me this phrase has a spiritual truth to it. Our spiritual food comes not only from going to church, but it also comes from spending time daily with God and reading the Bible. I think that sometimes we can get so caught up in our work, family, school, and everyday life that we forget to sit down and spend some time with God. If we rely solely on the one or two days we spend at church to keep us spiritually fed, we are setting ourselves up to feel junky. While the sermons we hear and the Bible studies we attend are truly enriching our faith, they cannot take the place of the personal relationship God desires to have with each one of us.
Every good parent knows that their kids can’t eat junk food for every meal. They need the nourishment of a thoughtfully prepared meal in order for them to grow and develop in a healthy way. This is exactly how our spiritual development works. We can’t just take a few seconds of the day reading one scripture to check it off the to-do list. God wants to spend time with you. He wants you to set apart some time away from the distractions of life and spend time with Him. When we begin spending time with God and reading His Word, we begin to realize how much more He has in store for us.
Just like we can’t outwork bad diets, we can’t out serve a relationship with Him. This is a trap that can be easy to fall in. Even if we volunteer at church or help out in the community, we still need to have a healthy relationship with God. I know that for me, when I have a healthy relationship with God, I find that I have more passion and energy to serve. But on days where I “didn’t have time for God,” I can sometimes get caught up going through the motions. Eating healthy and exercising go hand in hand, just like time with God and serving. We need to spend time with God and serve in order to keep a healthy lifestyle. I hope that we all can be inspired to spend more intentional time with God, and serve in some capacity. I know that it will be rewarding.
I have a couple of things I would like to challenge you with:
- Physical: If you find yourself at times losing energy, put the sugary caffeine-filled drink down and try changing up your diet. Determine how much sugar you’re consuming each day and try to reduce it. Try drinking more water than anything else. Sometimes a small change can make a big difference, so take it one step at a time.
- Mental/Spiritual: Schedule time each day to spend with God. If you don’t know where to start, you can read one chapter of Proverbs each day for one month and you will have read the whole book. The four Gospels are another great starting point for reading the Bible.
Take the 15/15 Challenge. For 15 minutes read the Bible, and for 15 minutes pray. This will equal 30 minutes with God and is a great starting place for a deeper relationship.