A few weeks ago as I was spending some time with God, I read this verse:
1 Thessalonians 4:7b – God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
Something about that verse struck me and I’ve been mulling it ever since. It’s as if it is saying that a “disorderly, unkempt life” – or, a disorganized undisciplined life – is not holy and pleasing to God. Ouch! I couldn’t help but sit and examine my own life. Were there areas in my life that were “disorderly and unkempt” and keeping me from honoring God? My response was yes. Yes there was. And I needed to do something about it.
So for the next 5 weeks I want to invite you to join me on Do More of What Makes You Holy: 5 Weeks and 5 Challenges.
The 5 Areas of Personal Discipline We’ll Focus On Are:
Health, Devotion, Words, Appearance, & Time.
Elizabeth Elliot writes: “Discipline, for a Christian, begins with the body. We have only one. It is this body that is the primary material given to us for sacrifice. If we didn’t have this, we wouldn’t have anything. We are meant to present it, offer it up, give it unconditionally to God for His purposes. This we are told is a “spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
About 4 years ago I started a personal weight loss journey. After the birth of my 3rd child, I realized I could no longer excuse my weight-gain away. I had reached a top weight of 209 pounds, and I was not happy with how I looked and was even more unhappy with how I felt.
Now, 4 years later I have lost 60 pounds and have been able to maintain it. Changing my eating habits was tough but it’s the exercise discipline that still gets me in trouble! Sometimes I blame it on the blogging – it takes a lot of my free time. Sometimes I blame it on homeschooling – I think, “if my kids went to school outside the home, I could go for an hour-long run every morning after they left the house!” Sometimes I blame it on my husband! He’s not overly fond of salads and always prefers something other than fresh veggies with just lean meat for dinner.
Wowsers…listen to those excuses!
The truth? I struggle with self-discipline.
If I got out of bed an hour earlier, I could exercise. My husband may not love all fresh vegetables, but he does like some. And we all love fresh fruit.
Elizabeth Elliot goes on to write:
“The Christian’s body houses not only the Holy Spirit Himself, but the Christian’s heart, will, mind and emotions – all that plays a part in our knowing God and living for Him…the body was a gift to me. Whether I will thank God for it and offer it as a holy sacrifice is for me to decide.”
Holiness has never before been a driving force for “getting fit,” but I must admit that her writing challenges me. And so that brings us to our first challenge on the list of disciplines!
Week 1 Challenge:
Name 1 healthy habit that you would like to begin to work on establishing in your life over the next 5 weeks. Maybe it is cutting back on junk food, fast food, or soda. It could be to exercise more, drink more water, or get more sleep. Leave a comment and tell us what you’re going to work on…often times we are more apt to follow through on commitments when we make them known!
My personal goal is to begin getting up 1 hour earlier to go running.
If you don’t know where to start with this challenge, I’m going to use The Project Girl’s free Workout Worksheet to track my exercise and her free Printable Food Journal to track my food intake. I use the MapMyRun app on my iPhone and have several exercise ideas pinned on my Pinterest board.
So what healthy habit are you going to work on? Leave a comment so we can encourage each other. Don’t forget we’re in this together!