Any town of any size in the USA has some type of a gym or health club for the benefit of its citizens. Many Americans strive to develop or maintain a regimen that leads to and promotes good health.
According to information from Yahoo:
- 58 million Americans have a gym membership, but 67% of them never use their memberships.
- Health clubs have annual revenues of about $21.8 billion.
- The average cost per person for a membership is $58.
- 5% of gym-goers use a personal trainers at an average price per session of $65.
- Americans spend around $30 billion a year on athletic apparel.
While we should try to stay reasonably fit, we should place at least equal or more emphasis on praying to stay fit. How would your life be different if you started a match program?
- For every minute you spend trying to stay physically fit, you will match it with a minute of spiritual exercise (praying, reading your Bible, or speaking to someone about Jesus).
- For every penny you spend paying to stay physically fit, you will give an equal amount to the Lord.
When you consider eternity, which one is of the greater benefit to you? Is it paying to stay fit or praying to stay fit?
Even though I’m no dentist, I know I have a serious problem. I have an unusually large and powerful sweet tooth! The presence of this tooth isn’t felt in the form of throbbing pain, but in the desire for food that is salty or sweet.
Sometimes I have an almost undeniable urge to indulge in my favorite foods (ice cream, popcorn, waffles, etc.). I sent a dietitian into orbit one day when I said: “I’ve heard cinnamon is good for you.” She replied: “Yes, it’s reported that it has some health benefits.” I said: “That’s good because since I heard cinnamon is good for you, I’ve been eating two of them every day.” With a stern look and a firm voice, she said: “That’s not the way it works!”
Temptation is a powerful presence that must be controlled. You either control your emotions or they control you. In the book of James, the writer says: “A man’s temptation is due to the pull of his own inward desires, which can be enormously attractive. His own desire takes hold of him, and that produces sin. And sin, in the long run, means death—make no mistake about that, brothers of mine!”
An article in The Atlantic sheds some light on the temptation to yield to your food cravings. It seems there is a link between food cravings and sleep deprivation:
“In one 2012 study, researchers found that when people were sleep-deprived, the reward centers of their brains lit up more when they looked at pictures of junk foods than when they saw pictures of healthy foods (in well-rested people, the brain response was roughly the same for both food groups). And another study, also from 2012, found that lack of sleep led to reduced activity in the areas of the brain that controlled decision-making—and, as a result, to greater cravings for fattening foods over healthier ones.”
The next time I crave something sweet, I guess I should substitute a sweet dream for the sweet cream. I also need to remember something else that James said: “The man who patiently endures the temptations and trials that come to him is the truly happy man. For once his testing is complete he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to all who love him.”