Just feeding our bodies without doing any exercise will not give us a full appreciation of life. In fact, the time will come when we become more of a burden than a joy to be with. Why? Because someone else will have to make up for our weakness — a self-induced weakness.
It’s never bothered me to help someone who is trying to better themselves or overcome a problem, but I have a problem with folks who are apathetical about important issues and then want help when they’re in trouble. By then it may be too late to help someone anyway — though I may try.
Sadly, we do this with our spiritual lives all the time. We go to church, hear the Word, and do our religious duties. And we should. Kudos to us. But we’re missing the mark in a very important way. We deceive ourselves into believing, “I’m living right,” but really we’re just getting spiritually fat. We’re getting spiritually fed, but we’re not spiritually exercising.
I say spiritually fat because the Word of God is described as food for our spirits: Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'” (Matthew 4:4). He illustrates the word of God is to the spirit like food is to the body.
How do we exercise our spirits? By practicing what the Word of God teaches. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:22–25).
When we don’t exercise the Word in our lives, we deceive ourselves into believing we’re something we’re not. It’s easy to do. Take, for example, the young man fresh out of high school who joins the Army. Visions of a tough, hero type soldier may be in his dreams, only to find the reality of soldiering is much different. It’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Most of the time he’ll wonder why he volunteered for the life style. Yet, in the end, he feels good about himself and his accomplishments of overcoming hardship. He matures and has experiences others his age will take longer to gain.
The same holds true when we begin to implement the Word in our lives. We find out what we’re made of, because it’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Oftentimes we wonder why is this happening to me? That is until we grow in maturity, in strength of faith, and in character. Then we wonder how anyone would want to live without Jesus.
We also won’t become a burden for others, but we become a blessing. Others won’t have to constantly carry us though tests, but we become the ones that can navigate the journey of life more effectively, and we can help others in there trial.
God never promised us “a bed of roses.” He’s promised to help us though test and trials, and, by practicing the Word, overcome the difficulties of life. If we refuse to act on God’s word, the time will come when we’ll be nothing but a burden that no one may be able to help.
Stay strong and prepared.