December 6: “Exercise and Motivation”

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Chronicles 6:12-42
1 John 5
Habakkuk 1
Luke 20

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Habakkuk 1:11 (CSB): “…They are guilty; their strength is their god.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

This morning (Saturday), Kim and I went out for a bike ride and then came back and did push-ups, sit ups, and triceps dips.

The added exercises were something new. We haven’t done them anytime recently. However, we realize that we need to focus on fitness in order to take care of the bodies that God has entrusted to us. We hope to begin a healthy habit.

The problem enters in when we are thinking about what motivates us to get physically fit. If you’re focusing on things like increasing your energy reservoir, or lowering your weight, or strengthening your heart, that’s good.

But some people are not so properly motivated. They want to look good so that they draw the attention of others. Or they want to be able to take great selfies or have a great beach body.

In this case, a good activity is tainted by a sinful motivation.

That’s like the Old Testament Chaldeans. The strength of their army was not bad. However, they essentially worshiped it. They prided themselves in their military might over any of their foes. They had no desire to worship the God of Heaven because they had something in themselves that provided them with value and security. It became their god.

Habakkuk 1:11 (CSB): “…They are guilty; their strength is their god.”

Friend, I hope you have some sort of exercise program that you’re involved in. Don’t wait until January 1 to start. Start right now. God gave you a body and has entrusted the stewardship of that body to you. So take care of it.

But be very careful with your motivation. You need to come up with some good reasons for why you want to be physically fit before you start. Make sure that God would be pleased with each of them. Don’t let what is good become wrong because of a bad motivation. And certainly don’t let it become your god.

If you need some help in coming up with some good motivations, you can go to an article I wrote in April 2013 in which I recounted a few of the reasons why I thought pastors in particular should focus on fitness. Just click here.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I want to take care of the body that you’ve given to me. However, I realize that there are reasons that I could do this that would make it a bad thing for me. I want to be so careful not only in what I do but why I do it. I pray this in Your Name. Amen.

Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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