We’ve all heard that saying, usually relating to building muscle or using our brains – “use it or lose it.” And it’s very true. I want to relate it to growing your spiritual muscles and show you why it’s critical if you want to improve any aspect of your health.
Let’s use weight training as an example because that’s what we do to build physical muscles. I recently began doing kettle bell workouts. I started out with a 5 lb. kettle bell. As I work out each week and progress, in order to build more muscle, I have to challenge myself. And all that means is – use a heavier kettle bell. That’s why they make them in different sizes – there is no one “perfect” size. It depends on where you are and what you want to accomplish. I will have to move up to 8 lbs. if I want to build muscle – which I do. The more muscle you have, the more fat and calories you burn – even at rest. It makes staying fit and healthy easier.
So now let’s relate that to building spiritual muscle. The principle is exactly the same. The fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control) are our “spiritual muscles.” In order to make them grow, we have to use them intentionally whenever the opportunity arises. The only way to make the self-control muscle grow bigger and stronger, is to challenge it. Use it more and more!
Every time you exercise that “muscle” it gets bigger and stronger and you can then use it easily in more challenging situations. You must use it on purpose, be intentional about it. (That’s why Key 3 of the 3D Living Program is called Exercise/Intentional Exertion!) I can keep working out with a 5 lb. kettle bell and it’s not a bad thing – but I won’t get stronger. I have to intentionally challenge myself. It’s the same in the spirit. And unless you intentionally exercise your “self-control” muscle and challenge it to grow and get stronger, you will find it next to impossible to challenge yourself in any other aspect of your life, including improving your health.
So, are you intentionally challenging yourself to grow and get stronger – physically and spiritually?