Exercising your Faith
2 Peter 1:5-9
How many of us exercise our bodies? What happens to our body when we exercise less and less? While God does make people of different shapes and sizes, there is definitely a difference between “being the way God made you” and “being out of shape”. The one is healthy while the other is not.
When our physical health is challenge by our own choices, often this means we are making bad decisions. They can be the following:
- Eating too much.
- Eating the wrong things.
- Becoming too sedentary (polite way of saying you’re lazy).
- Making excuses (don’t have time, on the go, take-out is quicker, bad knees, I’ve tried before and failed, it’s too hard).
- Just don’t care.
Our bodies operate like machines. They need a certain amount of fuel (calories) to run properly. The idea of needing fuel is with the idea of making everything move. Think of this like a car. A small compact car needs less fuel to move. A large SUV needs more fuel to travel the same distance. The purpose of putting the fuel in the car is to get to one place to another. Now imagine that you fill your car up to only let it sit that day. The next day, the tank is still fuel but you still fill it up as if it were empty. Soon you come to a problem, where does the extra fuel go? When it comes to our bodies, we know what happens to that extra fuel, don’t we? Continuing with that thought, what happens to your gas mileage in your car when it is full of passengers or you are towing a trailer? You use more fuel and the engine works harder, right? The same thing goes on with our bodies when there is extra baggage to tow. Imagine those same two cars, the compact and the SUV are towing a camper? Which one will be doing it the best? The SUV, right! Why, the engine is stronger and so it doesn’t have to work as hard. What happens to the compact? It’ll probably overheat, and the engine will blow because it is working too hard!
Why does this matter? Well, we were given an engine that can only support a body of a certain size to function properly. When our body and mind are tuned together and firing on all cylinders, we are like the muscle cars of the 70’s. What happens if I put the wrong fuel into that muscle car, say unleaded gas with ethanol? It’ll run, but not well and eventually the motor will breakdown as the lead that is lacking is not there to coat the cylinders during combustion.
Sometimes we don’t realize the choices that we are making:
- In North America, the size of a dinner plate is more than double the size in almost every country.
- Your restaurants are sometimes triple the size.
- While serving sizes are labeled, how many of us actually measure out the proper amount?
- Eat when we are not hungry. (Maybe your tummy is rumbling not because you’re hungry, but you need water instead)
- Sometimes it’s what you feed your eyes along with your stomach. (The invention of the TV dinner with TV trays put television and food at the center or our entertainment)
We must be vigilant to make sure that what we are eating is not a reaction to what is eating at you!
So how does all of this relate to our verses in 2 Peter? Well, it shows what happens when we don’t exercise our faith properly. If we are not careful, our attitudes we carry out in our physical life can drastically affect our behavior in our spiritual life.
- The GRACE exercise (1:6)
- The KINDNESS exercise (1:6)
- The SELF CONTROL exercise (1:7)
We all know that FRUITS are part of an essential diet. Well these SPIRITUAL FRUITS lead to SPIRITUAL GROWTH, SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE, SPIRITUAL LOVE, and SPIRITUAL ABUNDANCE.
When we exercise these things in our lives, we become effective and productive. (1:8)
What happens when we don’t exercise?
- Self-Gratifying (nearsighted) (1:9)
- Loses their sight (misses the purpose) (1:9)
- Falls into old bad habits (backsliding) (1:9)
So, when it comes to our calling as followers of Christ, we must therefore be…
- Diligent in exercising our faith (2 Peter 3:14)
- Securely puts us in a healthy place (1:10) (2 Peter 3:13)
- Saves us for the goal ahead (1:11) (2 Peter 3:15-16) (Revelation 22:14)
Is how you are exercising making you fit for the Kingdom?