Sunday, January 21 , 2018, 9:47 am | Fair 50º


Jim Langley: Remain Spiritually, Mentally and Physically Fit

As we age, we are often reminded just how limited we become in what we can accomplish later in life. There are two ways to look at this gradual aging process. We can simply accept it or we can apply ourselves to increase our stamina and improve our quality of life.

More than a century and a half ago, the YMCA rightly addressed this by acknowledging the importance of the needs of their patrons’ spirit, mind and body. In fact the mission statement of this fine nonprofit organization remains “To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.”

I’m extremely proud of my wife, Janet, and her recent commitment to improve her physical health in her retirement years. She is now a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, which is no easy feat. Having now maintained her recommended weight for the past few months while continuing to work out regularly at our local YMCA, she’s proved to me that she wants a healthier lifestyle as she continues to remain very active in our local community.

During these months, I’ve also witnessed her grow spiritually as well. She’s even inspired me to become more regular at working out and watching what I eat more closely!

If we truly want to remain spiritually, mentally and physically fit, then we’d be wise and take a close look at what the Bible says about our overall health.

In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Paul exhorts “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Personally, I take this to mean that as a follower of Christ I must do all I possibly can to remain spiritually, mentally and physically fit in order to serve my Lord as long as He sees fit to keep me here in this world.

Years ago, I collaborated with the executive director of our local YMCA to develop a Spiritual Fitness brochure that was made available to all members as a gift. The brochure, which was produced by our Christian Emphasis Committee, introduced members to the history of the YMCA movement and the significance of having a strong faith in Jesus Christ.

Certainly over the past few decades membership has become more diverse, but Christian emphasis can still be found in the three cornerstones of YMCA activity: Spirit, Mind and Body. Having proper balance in life is important and complete health requires our diligence in all aspects of our lives.

We must be careful to not just limit ourselves to proper exercise and nutrition. That’s only part of the formula to a healthy lifestyle. We must also remain faithful in reading and studying God’s Word and meeting other like-minded believers on a regular basis.

In Hebrews 10:24-25, the writer reminds us “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Yes, some have unfortunately developed the bad habit of not being part of a team. Apparently they would much rather go it alone and miss out on the relationships that are critical in life. I find that a true shame.

In ending, I hope you will take heed and do all you can to strive for vitality in the spiritual, mental and physical aspects of your life this day forward. Listen to the words of the apostle John in his final short letter. In 3 John 2, he inscribes to Gaius, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I trust all will be well with your soul, too.

Passages to Ponder

» Matthew 6:32-34

» Romans 12:1-2

» 1 Timothy 4:8

» James 1:19-21

» 1 Peter 5:6-9

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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