Sunday, January 27, 2013

Building Our Muscular Systems

UV 649/10,000 Building Muscular Systems “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;” 2 Peter 1 v 5 The other day I was reading in a book that the brain is like a muscle. The more we use it, the more it grows and develops. The more it remains dormant and idle, the more it deteriorates just as the muscles atrophy with want of sufficient exercise. Similarly, faith is a muscle. We can use faith to change our lives and the lives of people around us. With faith,we can change our goals, change our success-failure rate, change our health, change our destiny, change our relationships, change our impact, change our resource base. For God is limited only to the extent of our faith. The more we exercise our faith, the more it expands, the greater our strength, our blessings and our contribution. If we don’t use it,we will loose it. Similarly, goodness or excellence is also like a muscle. Just as our body consists of 700 muscles of which 639 are skeletal or voluntary muscles that we can control and the rest are involuntary muscles. The spiritual corollary is that excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, patience and love are voluntary muscular systems that enable us to move mountains. Once we have developed the faith muscle, we need to consciously work on the excellence or goodness muscle. Once the excellence muscle is developed, we need to exercise the knowledge muscle-knowledge of the Word and the world, the self control muscle, the perseverance muscle, the patience muscle and finally, the love muscle. Our spiritual growth and development is a progression. Nearly 40 per cent of our body weight consists of muscles. A well toned body is a physical evidence of health and fitness. Similarly, our testimony depends on the development of these spiritual muscles. Last week as I was teaching from this scripture in a management seminar, one of the participants pointed out that since the growth and development of our spiritual muscular systems are a progression, when we have a problem or deficiency or weakness in a particular area, say excellence- it is on account of insufficient development or growth in the previous or base muscular system. When believers do not believe in the need for personal or professional excellence, it is due to a deficiency in the faith muscle. They do not believe that God is a God of excellence who wants His children to excel. For a long time, I did various exercises meant to strengthen the torso muscles. But, when I went for a treadmill test, the technician asked if I do any exercise at all as my heart was beating too fast even at the start of the treadmill test. I then realized I need to add some cardiac related exercises like running up and down steps every day. Now, I walk for half an hour, cycle another half hour, do some abs exercises, use a fitness pump to strengthen the arms etcetera. If such a variety of exercises are needed to maintain and enhance our physical fitness levels, we need to do similar exercises to develop and grow spiritually, to be effective and productive. Prateep V Philip

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