Devotional Readings

Getting in Gear

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 2, NKJV.

Starting a fitness program–and sticking with it–may be one of the most challenging tasks you’ll ever face. To be successful, you must commit to get fit. Humans are creatures of habit. Adopting a new lifestyle requires breaking old, ingrained habits and forging new and perhaps unfamiliar ones. Many meet their Waterloo on this first step because their decision is based on emotional enthusiasm rather than a disciplined commitment. When the going gets tough (it will) and the emotional highs fade (they will), the strength of your commitment must carry you through.

Decide that you will be a person of your word–with your reputation on the line. Put your resolution in writing and place it where it will continually remind you.

Ask for divine strength to support you. Remember that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. As you strengthen your physical body He is better able to communicate with you spiritually. The Lord has promised His power to those who ask for it. Develop an awareness that He is beside you when the going gets difficult. Claim God’s promise in Jeremiah 30:17: “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds” (NIV).

Ask others to help keep you accountable. Make your decisions public. Public pledges are difficult to break because you don’t want to let others down.

What else do you need in order to keep your commitment? Here’s a list of essentials: (1) Have a definite plan, but avoid inflexibility. (2) Make modest beginning goals. Drastic changes may be necessary if serious health hazards need to be dealt with but, generally speaking, excessive goals set you up for failure. (3) Make your plan a part of your daily life. (4) Go for moderation and balance. (5) Expect progress to be gradual. If it took years to get out of shape it will takes months to get it back. (6) Enjoy the process, not just the end product. (7) Don’t be too hard on yourself. Old habits die hard. (8) Monitor your progress on a regular basis, but don’t be obsessive. (9) Follow the 90/10 rule rather than the 100/0 rule. Go for 90 percent compliance. Cut yourself a little slack, rather than wallow in guilt. (10) Give credit where credit is due; thank the Lord for your success.

What lifestyle changes would you like to make this year to help you become the person you really want to be? Today’s a great day to start getting in gear!

–Elmar P. Sakala


from Fit Forever: One-A-Day Devotionals for Body, Mind, and Spirit
Kay Kuzma (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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