Lutheran Church Extension Fund

How the Holy Spirit powers your vitality

Monthly theme: Physical Vitality

Reading time: two minutes

We’re in the “No Should Zone” this month.

Take care of yourself, not because the law and the “shoulds” tell you to. Tend to your physical wellbeing as a gospel motivated stewardship.

Your loving Father created you for physical vitality. Your Redeemer delivered you from the “shoulds” and granted you your super-power: the grace of daily new beginnings.

And the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, ever ripening in your life, powers your vitality and your daily disciplines of self-care.

The good Doctor Luther affirms the healing power of the Word and Sacraments in the Large Catechism. We affirm it weekly in the blessing, “The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen and preserve you in body and soul to life everlasting.”

Why wouldn’t we expect that as we live by the Spirit, we would find blessing for making the wise choices that enhance our physical vitality for service?

As you learn to care for yourself with good nutrition, adequate rest, and physical exercise, remember that you have a Partner in wellness, God the Holy Spirit.

The Fruit of the Spirit is self-control. In moments of weakness, don’t “should” on yourself. Pause. Breathe deep. “Lord, have mercy.” He’s with you.

The Fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness. By faith, the Spirit is teaching us to “thank and praise” Him. Recognize that every act of self-care for the sake of your kingdom service is an act of faith, an act of worship, as you rejoice in God’s good gifts of healthy food, restful slumber, and physical vitality.

The Fruit of the Spirit is peace. When the urge to over-eat is stirred by daily stress, your wellness Guide promises a peace beyond the cares of this world.

It’s a call to rest in His promises (and not Ronald McDonald’s).

The Fruit of the Spirit is kindness and gentleness. You’re called by the Spirit to serve. Day by day, the Spirit opens doors for your acts of kindness and gentleness as you share the hope of Christ.

Your physical wellbeing enables your response-ability to His call.

And the Fruit of the Spirit is love. Self-care for physical vitality is a journey, not a destination. We’re all learning and growing.

The journey includes many forks in the road, many of which lead to pizza parlors and ice cream shops. Relax and enjoy a slice and a scoop or two!

And when your mind (“You should…”) and your flesh (“I need…”) get into an argument, shouting back and forth at each another, tearing you up inside, remember that He loves you.

Take good care of yourself.

Not because you should, but simply and graciously because you have a Partner.

A Guide, who is already taking care of you every day.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

Thanks for reading.