1 “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked …”
Psalm 1:1 (NIV)
I have been an exercise physiologist and personal trainer for 15 years, and I have learned that many of the exercises that make us strong and look fit in the short term can have negative long-term orthopedic effects.
For instance, repetitive shoulder presses with heavy weights make your shoulders look nice, but can cause shoulder impingement. Heavy squats and hang cleans make you stronger and more explosive today, but eventually they tax spines and knees.
Life is like exercise. What makes us look and feel good today is not always best for us long-term.
When I was in college, the short-term seemed to be all that mattered. I thought, “Life is short. Live it up.” I did not consider the long-term or God much.
I was influenced mostly by friends who had little or no regard for Jesus. We were focused on heavy squats and shoulder presses. We have injuries from that.
Injuries from harmful lifestyles are like sports injuries because you suffer their consequences later.
In college, I observed the outspoken Christians from a distance. In a way, I envied their non-conformity, but I also thought they were missing out.
In hindsight I can see I was the one missing out. I see they were sparing themselves headaches and heartaches. God wants to spare you too. More than that, God wants you to flourish.
Athlete, know that walking with Jesus today always makes for a better tomorrow. In their song “Dawn to Dusk,” All Sons & Daughters sang, “Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender.” That is true. So is this: "Tomorrow's bondage is today's sin.”
I feel free and content the morning after a day I followed Jesus. I am always glad I did the right thing, even if it was hard. But I regret it if I did not.
When I prescribe an exercise program for a client, I ask myself, “Will this program benefit them in 10 years, or could it lead to orthopedic issues?” I ask that question because exercises are like investments in their future. There are good investments and bad ones.
You can ask yourself the same question, “Will my present lifestyle benefit me in 10 years, or could it lead to issues?”
Ask yourself that question because your lifestyle today is an investment in your future. There are good investments and bad ones.
Action: The next time you do a good thing, note the freedom that results. The next time you do a bad thing, note the bondage that comes with it.