We are coming up to the close of this year and the start of a brand-new year. This is the time many people make New Year’s resolutions. Often, those resolutions include getting healthy and/or losing weight. I have been thinking a lot lately about how there are three ways the journey to get physically healthy can be a lot like the journey to being spiritually healthy.
The first is: The numbers matter
A couple of months ago, I went to my doctor because of some health issues I was experiencing. She said what I really didn’t want to hear. “You need to lose weight.” Like many out there, I have gained weight since working from home during COVID. My “office” is now conveniently located on my kitchen table, right next to all the food. That number on the scale isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it is an outward sign of a problem. It showed my lack of activity and my increase in food intake.
Spiritual numbers matter, too. Are you attending church, Bible studies, reading your Bible? I know there are some that are not attending church in person. Are you letting COVID come in as an excuse to not get sermons and the word of God in you? Or are you watching the sermons online, phoning friends/church members to talk about what God is teaching you, and making sure you are getting in His Word daily?
Hebrews 10:25 “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Psalm 84:4 “How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You.”
Psalm 92:13 “Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”
The second is: The numbers are not everything
For most of my life, I had been a healthy weight. It really wasn’t until about eight years ago, my weight became a struggle. If you were to see how I looked on the outside and saw the numbers on the scale, you would think I was healthy. However, I had a completely unhealthy relationship with food. I didn’t eat healthy at all and definitely didn’t exercise. If I began gaining weight, I would stop eating.
The same applies to our spiritual lives. You can attend church every time the doors are open, be at every Bible study, and check off the box that you read your Bible every day and yet still be spiritually unhealthy. Are you taking what you learn from the sermons and actually applying it to your life? Are you doing what Bible says? Are you reading the Bible as if it is all about you, or are you reading it because it is all about Jesus and you want to know Him more?
James 1:22 “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”
1 John 2:3 “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.”
Luke 6:46 “Now why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I say?”
The third is: We do better when we walk through it together
About a month ago, when I started working on getting healthier, I set out to start exercising on my own. As someone who has never exercised, I found it so hard. The excuses came flooding in. I struggle with asthma and I have issues with my heart that can make my heart rate get too high too quick. As I started working through exercise videos, I wasn’t making it far before turning them off and telling myself that I can’t do it.
After over a week of not doing so well with it, I dragged my husband into exercising with me. Through encouraging one another when it got hard and pushing each other to keep going, I was able to push through the hard parts and make it to the end every time. He was also there to encourage me to slow it down when my heart rate would get too high.
With our spiritual walk, the same is true. We need each other. There are going to hard times. The Bible tells us we will have trials and tribulations. We need to have brothers and sisters in Christ walking along side of us to encourage and uplift each other, to push each other to keep going when life gets tough.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 “Two are better than one because they have good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three stands is not quickly torn apart.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
Gal 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”
Today, I want to encourage you, if through this season you have gotten away from church, from gathering either in person or virtually with other believers, get back to being planted. Be in your word every day. But don’t just stop there, do what the word says, apply it to your life and walk in obedience. If you are going through a hard time, don’t walk it alone. Reach out to someone to walk alongside you, someone who will build you up and help keep you on the narrow path. But also, step out be an encouragement to others.
(All Scripture is in New American Standard Version 1995)