Adults Getting Lazier

Friday’s Rapid City Journal had a story that caught my eye. The Associated Press reports that American adults are getting lazier. The story reported on some recent statistics from the Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Only 25.4 percent of adults met government recommendations for physical activity in 1998. (The CDC recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days per week or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise 3 days per week.) Almost 30 percent reported no physical activity at all. While I am not really a “fitness buff,” and at this moment would probably come close to flunking the government recommendations listed above, I found the excuses that Americans use to justify their inactivity interesting. There are some parallels between a lack of physical exercise and a lack of spiritual exercise.

“People are spending more time watching TV,” CDC statistician Sandra Ham said. Television is a major contributing factor to the lack of spiritual growth of Christians. How much time is spent watching our favorite shows or movies? What responsibilities are neglected while we vegetate on the couch? What kind of immoral behavior do we soak up from sitcoms? Bad language? Could we become desensitized to the deviant sexual behavior that is glamorized on just about every episode of every show? Remember the old saying, Garbage in; Garbage out? At the very least, watching the immoral habits portrayed on television can’t help the Christian spiritually.

Of course, there are television programs that are fit to watch—not all are bad! We must remember it is the responsibility of each Christian to make sure what he watches is good and wholesome. Paul wrote….whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Phil. 4:8)

The story pointed out that Americans see exercise as an inconvenience. This boils down to a matter of priorities. Exercise is not an inconvenience to the person who wants to do it. How many Christians would admit that their spiritual responsibilities are an inconvenience to them? If ones priorities are not in the proper place:
* Getting up early on Sunday morning to attend Bible classes will be an inconvenience.
* Coming back for the evening service on Sunday will be an inconvenience.
* Studying God’s word on a daily basis will be an inconvenience.
* Sacrificial giving of our financial resources will be an inconvenience.
* Volunteering time to teach a Bible class and be a source of inspiration to our young people will be an inconvenience.
* Spending time discussing God’s word with someone who is outside of Christ will be an inconvenience.
* Business meetings of the church will not be viewed as an opportunity to plan our work in God’s kingdom but as an inconvenience to our schedule.

We must remember, it was probably a little inconvenient to Jesus to suffer, bleed, and die on a cross on our behalf. (See Lk. 22:54-23:56.) We have no right to become slackers when it comes to spiritual exercise. We have no right to complain about living up to our spiritual responsibilities.

Christians must guard against becoming lazy in God’s work. Paul reminded Christians that bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. (1 Tim. 4:8-9) Start today by working toward obtaining the promise of life! Get busy in growing up in Christ. Get your spiritual exercise! God will provide a home in heaven to the diligent one who gave it his all to get to heaven. There will not be one lazy Christian in heaven!

By: Matthew Allen

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