Continued from here.
Maintaining an inward focus has never been a problem for me – I am natural extremely self-absorbed and self-centered. I used to be a control freak determined to be in control over every aspect of my life, despite not being very good at it. I have grown much more joyful in my life by recognizing that I don’t have what it takes to run my own life and that I am fully dependent upon God to do it for me.
While I have no issues with maintaining an inward focus, I struggled greatly with having a healthy inward focus. A healthy inward focus requires me to align my thoughts with God’s thoughts, and He is not thinking about how I need to control the situation or how the situation is too large for me to handle. A healthy inward focus needs to align with God’s thoughts, ways, and priorities. Since His thoughts and ways are higher than mine, I need God to reveal what a healthy inward focus looks like.
Much of my inward focus now involves taking care of my body, which is God’s temple. God created my body to need eight hours of sleep a night, to be fueled by healthy foods, and to need exercise. I spent most of my life abusing my body through an eating disorder, and I hated it. I saw my body as the way that my child abusers were able to harm my soul. I wanted to kill my body so my soul could flee from it. So, changing my mindset to love my body and take care of it in alignment with how designed it has required nothing short of God’s direct intervention.
Many Christians do not take care of the Holy Spirit’s temple. They only get 5-6 hours of sleep a night and then drink lots of coffee to keep their bodies moving, not drinking the water that their bodies were designed to need. They don’t take the time to exercise their bodies, and they fuel their bodies with fast food. Then, when their bodies break down from lack of maintenance, they pray for healing, not recognizing the role their repeated disobedience played in their current predicament. While this is the culture’s way of life, it should not be the Christian’s way. If we maintain the physical premises of our local church buildings, how much more important is it to maintain the temple of the Holy Spirit?
I do not claim to do this perfectly, but I do set aside eight hours to sleep each night, primarily drink water, and exercise four days a week. Eating healthy is the biggest challenge for me, but I have progressed in this area as well. The transition from abusing my body with food for decades to eating healthy has not been easy for me.
To be continued…
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace running on a treadmill. Courtesy Bitmoji.]