Sunday, January 11, 2015

CHURCH: Are You Neglecting To Exercise Your Heart??

Hey Fit Fam ...

Happy Sunday!! Sister Stacy is taking you to church today, lol!

As I was planning out my workouts, meals and to-do's for this next week, I ran across someone talking about how more people should have made a resolution to work on their "hearts" this year.  They weren't talking about the heart in the "physical" sense either.

While I don't post about my "religious beliefs" often, I do make it clear that I am a Christian and a Woman of God. My blog is about fitness/health, so that will of course be the focus of today's post, but I want to talk a little bit about the big man upstairs and our biggest muscle ... you know the most important one ... our hearts.

Most of us #FitFam don't take time to "workout" this muscle the way we should. That's not to say we aren't good people, or that we don't have good hearts, or that many of us don't go to church regularly, I'm not saying that at all.  But I would bet most of us don't really take time to focus on our hearts the way we do our other muscle groups. I know that "exercising my heart" isn't on my "weekly workout plan". I plan out every single muscle group I'm going to workout each day, and I should be doing the exact same for my heart! I pray (often many times a day) and the hubs and I like watching church from home (where two or more gather .. so please don't preach to me about going TO a church), but from now on, I'm going to attempt to include "heart" on my weekly workout list and find ONE "exercise" everyday!  Maybe it will be praying for a stranger or even an enemy, possibly buying the persons coffee behind me, calling an old friend, sharing a smile or a hello with someone who looks stressed or down. There are a billion ways we can exercise our hearts ... that is one muscle that should never have a rest day :)

Our hearts are the most important, God wants us to have a beautiful heart, but does that mean that He wants us to neglect our physical selves? Let's chat about this a bit.

Of course He cares more about what our hearts look like. He can see our hearts in a way no one else can. He doesn't care if we have a six pack, if we go to the gym everyday, if we are fat, skinny or muscular. Here are some scriptures people often quote when "arguing" that God isn't as focused on our physical appearance as he is what we look like on the inside.

1 Timothy 4:8 "For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 

1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quite spirit."

1 Samuel 16:7 "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'"

All too often people will quote a scripture such as these, not considering the backstory, origins, etc. They take it out of context and make it what THEY want it to be (this is a rant in and of itself, lol). I mean .. let's look at the 1 Peter verse. Of course God isn't saying we can't braid our hair or wear jewelry, lol. He is talking about the customs of some Egyptian women during that time period who spent endless hours getting ready, etc. He is saying he would rather see us spend more time working on our inter beauty. People that quote scripture when "arguing" topics often fail to resort to other scripture that would go "against" their sometimes rather aggressive "argument."  I've had people tell me that I shouldn't be focusing so much on my outer appearance and focus more on God and Family (Yes .. I actually had someone tell me that one time, smh). First of all, this person was judging me. Just because I'm in shape physically .. doesn't mean I'm OUT of shape spiritually. I guess they are failing to look further into God's word, because physical appearance actually is important to God! Why? Because it reveals the glory of his creative abilities. We should take care of and appreciate the body God has given us ... it's an amazing creation. He never says he only cares bout the heart. He says that he can SEE the heart; whereas man cannot. In fact, both old and new testaments give plenty of evidence that God DOES in fact care about our exterior beauty.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Romans 12:1 I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship. 

Proverbs 31:17 "She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong."

There are so many examples. These are adjust a couple. But we should be humbly aware of our appearance, giving it our all and wanting to do it for ourselves and for God rather than conforming to the world's standards. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to take care of yourself. It's when you make your outer appearance a think of pride or obsession (i.e. your only focus) rather than a thing of bettering yourself that it becomes "ungodly" .. or for those of you that are not spiritual ... just flat out annoying or vain. 

Not to mention, keeping your body in shape takes discipline. What level YOU want to be at determines exactly the level of discipline. Either way, God want's us to practice discipline. 

Everyday you wake up, you are a testimony to the creativity of God. He created us, Jesus died for us, the Holy Spirit lives within us!! Christ is connected to your body in every way .. so of course he holds you accountable for how you manage what he has GIVEN you. Our bodies are technically "loaned" to us.. so it's our responsibility to take care of them. What are you doing with what He has given you?

Eat Clean. Train Dirty. 

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