Back to the Gym: A Biblical Mandate

                                    Not Me
Not Me

I went back to the gym the other day after a rather lengthy hiatus. My stomach has begun to protrude to the point where I am starting to lose track of my feet. On top of that, I just don’t feel good being overweight. What’s worst is that, when I gain weight, I snore at night. It’s just not good for marital relations.

As I look back over the past four months (the length of time I skipped out on my usual physical regimen), I’m trying to figure out just why it took so long for me to get back into the swing of things. As I take inventory, I note that I have many excuses—holidays; company; illness; undone tasks; errands to run; deadlines to meet; and the ever popular, “I’ll start back up tomorrow.”

“It felt good.”

However, the real and overriding reason is simply that I got out of the habit. Sadly, it didn’t take much. A few days of avoiding my healthy habits easily turned into a few weeks and then a few months. Now, I’m paying the price—big time.

The day I went back was just as I knew it would be. It felt good. The workout, itself, was not the source of my pleasure. The simple satisfaction that I was back on track was the prime reason for my gratification. The fact that I had finally taken the first step toward a slimmer me was a pleasurable thing in itself.

“Admittedly, I have a long way to go.”

Frankly, I got sick of not being able to zip up my jeans. One day at the gym is not going to fix that. Still, if I discipline myself to keep going back three or four times per week, I will slowly chip away at the spare tire I’ve built.

That, of course, is the primary goal. It’s not so much the reduction of my midsection (as important as that is to me). It’s the practice of self-discipline that is paramount. It carries a lot of weight (pardon the pun) because it bleeds over into every other area of my life.

Not Me Either
Not Me Either

That, in fact, is the area of life that most of us as Christians fail to address. For many of us, our lack of self-discipline is pathetic. Some of you may be thinking, “Speak for yourself, Zuchelli!” Okay, I will. But I’m sure I’ve got a lot of company.

You don’t have to stare at the word, discipline, very long until you notice the strong resemblance to another word—disciple. A disciple is someone who disciplines him or herself in the ways of another. As a Christian, I am called to discipline myself in the ways of Christ. Like my break from the gym, it’s easy to set aside the discipline of learning and living in the manner of Jesus.

The last thing Jesus told us was to go and make disciples. The way I figure it, we can’t make disciples if we’re not disciples ourselves…(to be continued)…

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