Physical exercise is a means of caring for the body. It takes self control to workout consistently in order to achieve a desired goal. Likewise, spiritual exercise is a means of caring for the spirit. It takes self control too to “walk in the spirit” (Galatians 5:16) daily in order to receive a reward. For example, we exercise self control when we choose to show love in tough situations in order to experience God’s peace. Or we exercise self control when we opt to be joyful rather than depressed in order to maintain a healthy body and spirit. We also exercise self control when we decide to manage our appetite during the holiday season in order to not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).
God has given us the ability to manage our spirits (Proverbs 16:32) and the Helper called the Holy Spirit to aid us. God, our loving Father, always gives us a way of escape when we are faced with temptations (1 Corinthians 10:13). For example, is that pumpkin or apple pie too difficult to resist? Or is one slice insufficient? Is it too difficult to keep up an exercise routine during the holiday season? Can we really eat healthily during the holiday season? It can be done. We have the fruit of the spirit, namely self control, and we do have the power within us to help us.
Let’s enjoy the holiday season. Let us exercise self control and do everything with moderation. But most importantly, let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us always and not just when we are in trouble.
He who controls his temper is better than a war hero,
he who rules his spirit better than he who captures a city. (Proverbs 16:32 CJB)