Spiritual Spot Reducing?
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. (1 John 1:9, NLT)
Over the course of my life, I’ve been certified through Mary Mayta’s Fit For Life Certification, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and Zumba International Network.
Since graduating high school, I have taught at Fit For Life, the Indiana University Hyper as part of the IU Fit staff, the Bloomington (IN) YMCA, Rick’s Gym, and Priority Fitness.
I even ran my own lunchtime fitness business “Body Basics” in the mid-90s while working fulltime as a reporter for my local newspaper.
And now, I lead a class at Priority Fitness called “Fit in Thirty.” I have also served as the health and fitness writer for a Lifeway magazine, as well as ghostwritten several fitness books.
In other words, I have been involved in the world of fitness in one way or another since I was 18 years old, and even before that time, I was working out with Jane Fonda.
Remember the old exercise VHS tapes when Jane Fonda would make you do a million buttocks lifts and then say, “Now go for the burn!”? Yeah, me too. Then, I progressed to “Buns of Steel,” “Abs of Steel,” and “Legs of Steel,” though none of my body parts ever looked like steel.
And how could any of us forget the “Thighmaster” contraption? (It’s currently under my bed, along with a few friendly dust bunnies.)
But in all of those years, I’ve never seen “spot reducing” actually produce the results that were promised. You won’t have that Brazilian bum you were promised if you’re carrying a lot of extra weight on top of your toned glutes.
You won't see the results you desire if you don’t also participate in some sort of cardio activity three to four times a week to burn the fat (diet is a critical factor as well).
I’ve got news for you; spot reducing in the spiritual realm doesn't work that well, either. If you just work on your anger problem, but you leave those six inches of unforgiveness untouched, it won’t really make a difference.
Or if you work hard memorizing scriptures in order to build your faith, but you still have a layer of sin covering your heart, it’s just a memorization activity.
Here’s the good news. In the spiritual realm, you don’t have to do intense cardio workouts to get rid of those layers of sin. It’s much easier.
All you have to do is confess your sins and ask God to forgive you. The Word says he will! Then, he will help you “spot reduce” until your spiritual life is as fit as Fonda in her leg warmer-wearing, prime-fitness years. You don’t have to go for the burn. You just have to go to God!
“Father, I want to live a happy, whole, fulfilling life, and I know I cannot do that apart from you. So, I repent of my sins right now and ask you to forgive me so that I can go forward and fulfill my destiny in you. I give you all of the anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness that have been plaguing my heart and life, and I thank you for replacing them with your love, joy, and peace. Thank you for seeing the best in me and helping me become spiritually fit to do the work in the Kingdom that needs to be done. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen.”
Moments after writing about God-ordained encounters, a church pastor experiences just that.
If you've been waiting for God to do something extraordinary in your life, ask Him what part He wants you to play.