Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. ~ Romans 6:13 (NLT)
We have an epidemic in the world today. Because of our greater connectivity, stress doesn’t just come into our lives every now and again. It streams through every device we own and into our lives. We hear about bad news through our phones the moment it happens. We get called out on social media. Shaming has gone from the school yard to the globe. The keyboard permits people to say things about us globally which they would never say in person. In short, we are saturated with messages of stress everywhere we turn in the modern world.
So, tip # 1 is to take a Sabbath rest from your devices. Stop the flow of stress.
Tip # 2 is to get off your rear. One of the greatest issues with mental health today is that we as a society have stopped exercising. As a result, we are left alone with our thoughts, dwelling on the negative day after day. It eats away at us. It leads us to sinful behavior in an attempt to relieve the pain. We dwell on the evil rather than allowing our bodies to heal through natural stress relief. I don’t have time to detail all of the science here, but Google “benefits of exercise.” The top results will tell you about stress, anxiety, and depression relief.
I believe the issue goes beyond just the physical, however. I believe not taking care of our bodies is a spiritual one. As Paul tells us in our verse today, “Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” Did you catch that last part? Use your whole body to bring glory to God. But, can we say we’re doing that if we don’t keep it healthy?
Here’s my challenge: For the next two weeks, exercise each day. Get your heart rate up. So, go for a walk at good pace, or run. Go for a hike that involves some incline. Hit the weights. Just do something which elevates your heart rate for 30 minutes. Oh, and as you do it, either listen to some good praise music or spend some time talking with God. Invite him into your workout. The results will be obvious: Better mood; better sleep; more positivity; and on and on.