I went to my regular doctor the other day and after talking about the various aches and pains, medications, and so on, he made the comment that I would be well served to lose some weight. I can’t argue with him. Losing weight would help to reduce some of the pains I was experiencing. I knew it before I went in there and I know he sincerely wants me to be in the best health I can be. There is just one problem with losing weight…me.
Losing weight involves a bunch of things like exercise, good sleep, and of course a healthy diet. My recent back surgery and arthritic ankle make the exercise thing a serious challenge, but I can ace the sleep thing! The biggest challenge…the diet. The problem is that diets require me to stop eating those things that are so appealing to me. Things like ice cream, cookies, bread, and pasta. My body craves them far more than things like celery, carrots and sprouts! But the kind of diet, one that is good for physical health, requires deliberate choices every day and that is not always easy.
In the same way, a healthy spiritual diet and lifestyle is a deliberate choice. It takes time, effort, and choices that seek to achieve those God honoring short and long term spiritual healthy goals. IT means filling my life with the “things that are above” rather than the things of this earth. Colossians 3:1-17 is replete with instructions for how to have a healthy spiritual life. It talks about stopping the consumption and practice of those things that are not healthy such as evil desires, sexual impurity, lying, anger, and several others. Those things are so damaging to spiritual health and simply they must go.
The passage continues with exhortations that focus on those things that typify a healthy spiritual lifestyle and diet.
“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
We are more than just individuals though; we are members of the family and body of Christ. Our spiritual health and diet, not only help us to grow and mature individually in our faith and in our knowledge and understanding of our Lord, but it also impacts the spiritual health and wellbeing of our larger family. The verses above provide specific and achievable goals in our spiritual life that we can all be working on and incorporating into our lives that will help us to all to be spiritually strong and healthy.
May God bless us today with the strength and burning desire to begin anew today striving to “…put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Amen.