A Little Bit About Me...

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I have many hats that I wear. I am a husband and father. I am pastor/teacher at my church. I am part of a team working on a large project at work. I am a friend. I am a budding visionary. I am a writer, an actor, and a director. I am an artist. I am a student of the Bible. I have a brain that comes up with some pretty crazy and interesting ideas, and I have a personality to match. I try to treat all people how I would like to be treated. I strive to be steadfast, immovable in my faith. I seek after the TRUTH, and I believe that it can be found, not just 'from my perspective', but for all people.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Buffet My Body...

I haven’t really written here in a while. I have not had the time to just sit and write with all the other things in my life, but I am taking a few minutes right now just to share something that has been on my mind.

For about 6 weeks or so I have been trying to make some changes to the way that I live. I have been trying to eat better. I have been trying to exercise more regularly (and by more regularly, I mean more than twice a year). I have noticed some changes in my body. I have these bumps on my arms now. I think they might actually be muscles. I have been running twice a week. I have a few trusted friends that I try to check in with about my progress. I wish the weight loss happened faster, but it really takes some time to make my body believe that it wants to get rid of the weight. A few people have said that they can notice some difference in me. Some days I see it. Some days I feel no different. But I press on.

I have sort of been camped in the book of 1 Corinthians, chapter 9, verses 24 to 27. The apostle Paul is writing here and he goes into a comparison of his preaching the Gospel with athletes training.

“Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. 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.”

Such a great passage! It’s tough to do what it takes to be an athlete. I’m doing my best. I’m working at it. It really is training though.

Self-control has never been one of my strong suits… especially with food, hence why I am in this situation as it is. I am having to learn to cook better food. I have increased my veggies and fruit. My parents gave me a rice cooker, which has been incredible to work with! Some rice, some chicken, and veggies, and I am good to go. Some nights I have to make two meals because the kids might not really like what I am eating. I still allow some dessert, but I cut back on the portions. I just wish it happened faster.

But I was talking to the young people in Infuzion this past Sunday about this verse, and I got to the end of the passage and really focused there for a few minutes. Paul is talking about disciplining his body and then he considers what could happen if he does not control what he does with his body… He could lose his salvation if he keeps using his body to sin.

Yes, it is one thing to take care of your body, and to train your body and be healthy, but what about the things that you do with your body? Your body does not just do things without your consent (in most cases). Your mind controls what you do with your body.

Doing a bit of theological study of the Bible, you will see how people are made up of a flesh, a spirit, and a mind (soul). You see evidence of this in Pop-culture when you see the conscience on someone’s shoulders with a demon and an angel. Your mind is what decides what you do. Your spirit is the part of you that allows you to commune with God. Your body is the part that is connected to this earth. Between the two of these is the mind.

Let’s look for a minute… what happens if you feed your body well? If you exercise? Obviously, you will get stronger… healthier? Now what happens if you feed your body junk food? If you sit and do nothing to move your muscles? Obviously, you get fat, and there can be all kinds of other health issues. (If you look at the Amplified Bible, the verse above reads: “But I buffet my body and…”… Of course, if you go out to the buffet, then you probably overeat…. And of course, this is not what the word means. ;o) )

Now what about your spirit. If you spend time with God every day, and you pray, and you read the Bible, and you study it, and apply it to your life, then your spirit gets stronger. If you spend all of your time absorbed in media, and listening to the ideas of the world then your spirit will get weaker, and your time with God will be more difficult.

Your body pulls you to the world. Your spirit pulls you to God, and whichever one you feed will define your alignment… where your heart points. Now back to your mind… Your mind is the thing that decides. It chooses what you want to do. If it hears your body that has no discipline, it will be easier to choose to go towards the world. If it hears your spirit calling you to God, it will be easier to move towards God.

I am always examining my life for areas where God needs to do work in me… actually, where I need to allow God to do some work in me. As I train my spirit, it also becomes easier to train my body.

Training my body is only in part from trying to be healthier. It also involves the other things I do with my body. With my body I can yell at someone. I can steal. I can hurt. I can lie. I can do any other thing on those lists of sins in the Bible. But as I move towards God, He helps me to refine my behaviour… to purge sin from me…. To strengthen my conscience so that I do what is needed to make things right.

It doesn’t totally wrap up in the changing of behaviour though… As someone that wants to follow Jesus, I have to acknowledge that I have sinned, or broken God’s laws. I have to understand that because of that I deserve the punishment of hell. I have to trust in Jesus, and his work at the cross to save me. I need to love God and love others with all of my spirit, mind and body…. Within the confines of God’s protective law.

So next time you go to eat that thing that you know is not good for you, think about what you have been feeding your spirit too. Is it healthy, or do you need to put it on a diet?