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In Control

In 1994, I had a heart attack and was in the hospital for a week getting my arteries unplugged. I was tended by a physical therapist and a dietician who told me that in order to survive I would have to discipline myself to exercise regularly and eat a low fat, healthy diet.

Some people might say I went a little overboard. I started and continue to power walk 3-4 miles a day. I try to maintain a good, healthy diet (although this past Christmas was a challenge). Those who know me may remember that I could be somewhat obnoxious when I tried to inspire guilt for even eating just one M&M. (After all, it takes walking the length of a foot ball field from end zone to end zone to work off the fat and calories in one M&M).

I think I’ve modified my obsessions – at least I’m working on it. But the point I would make is that I did work to discipline myself toward a healthier life style. It took discipline but it also took an attitude of “Just do it!”

I think that same attitude needs to be behind a solid spiritual discipline. We all know what we should do – read the Bible more, pray more, spend more time in meditation and reflection. But, we run out of time . . . and how we spend our time reflects our priorities. If we value our spiritual growth, then we must practice spiritual discipline. We need to give more than lip service to the concept. We need to “Just do it!”

In the process of seeking greater spiritual discipline, God will bless us with His Spirit. He will fill our lives with good things. He will lead us in His ways, teach us His truth, and direct everything we do. We will become spiritually fit; able to take on the devil and whatever he throws at us. God will protect us in the disciplines we have learned. I see this in my own personal Bible study, prayer life, and journaling. I don’t do it perfectly. I miss a day’s spiritual exercise occasionally. But life is so much better when one is spiritually fit that I work to keep at my exercise.

This discipline leads to discipleship. What a blessing that God wants to give you!  Just do it!

About the author

As the Director of LCMS Youth Ministry, Terry Dittmer seeks to advocate for young people and to empower young people to be God’s people in the world and to empower people to “confess” their faith in celebratory and expressive ways. Terry and his wife, Cherie, have five adult children.
View more from Terry

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