Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Physical Vitality for the Long Haul!

Reading time: two minutes. How about “a continual lust for less”?  That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Paul wrote to the Ephesians about those who don’t know Christ and are driven by the lusts of their flesh.  The Greek word pleonexia is “lust for more” and it usually gets us in trouble.  A fit, healthy body is necessary for a long, healthy life in ministry.  Far too many called workers in the church leave the ministry because of physical limitations, and many, if not most of those infirmities, are preventable by lifestyle adjustments. There’s no quick and easy answer to controlling the passions of the flesh, whether its the desire for comfort food, the desire to lie around and do nothing, the desire for alcohol or dozens of other yearnings of the physical nature.  But the fruit of the Spirit is self-control, and an increasing measure of victory and control is certainly possible. Here are a couple of thoughts on developing a continuing lust for less. First and foremost, we all need God’s grace as we struggle with the passions of the flesh.  When the war rages between my body (“I need comfort!  I need some pleasure!”) and my mind, (“You’re so bad!  You did it again!  Naughty, naughty, naughty!”) I can easily get caught in the endless cycle of indulgence and guilt, which cries out for more indulgence to ease the pain and another round of guilt. That’s when I need a new voice, a voice of grace and peace.  “You are My dear child, and I love you.  Confess your weakness, receive my grace, and move forward with peace.”  The voice that calms the shouts of body and mind is the voice of a will conformed by God’s grace to His own will. Besides the voice of the Lord’s own encouragement, a few local voices would help, too.  I encourage everyone to take a long term view of dietary discipline.  Avoid the crash diets.  Begin by picking one or two things to eliminate from your diet (“I don’t eat that!”) and find an encouraging, loving friend or two to keep you accountable. One more idea?  Eat your age.  We’re in this ministry for the long haul.  Over the years (and decades) our metabolisms change.  It was fun to “eat the menu,” one of everything, at McDonald’s when we were 17.  We’re not 17 anymore.  As years go by, slowly dial back the intake valve.  We don’t need the calories and we certainly don’t burn them like we used to.  Eat your age. And remember, the lust for less is a progressive, step by step journey, and a pretty long one.  And since we need you around for a long, long time, let’s get started! Thanks for reading! Do you serve on a professional church worker conference planning committee?  Our staff has vast experience leading groups of all sizes from every church work background through innovative wellness programs custom designed to meet your needs.  Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman today to begin exploring the possibilities or visit our website to see some of our ideas for your conference!