As a writer, I’m all too familiar with the importance of good form. I remember one day that I edited for 12 hours in a row! I didn’t realize while I was typing, but my laptop sat on a desk that was too high, and I was holding up my arms as I typed. Also, the laptop was several inches under my eye level, so I had to bend my head down to see what I was typing. By the time I finished, my trapezoid muscles were burning from holding my shoulders up and leaning my head down.
Finally, a friend looked at my laptop and insisted that I buy a stand for it. This way the screen would be eye level and I wouldn’t have to hurt my neck starring down at it. Then she said that I needed to buy an ergonomic keyboard that was linked to my laptop. She told me to place the keyboard on the slide drawer in my desk (I had never used it before!), so the keyboard would be level with my arms. Now, I even bought a chair with arm rest, and I feel totally at ease as I type. Wow! How good form makes a difference!
Good form is also important when bodybuilding. When I first started training with my friend, Tasha, she had to constantly correct my form. In fact, I actually injured my muscles because I was trying to lift too much weight with bad form. But God used my injury to bring me back to ground zero, so I could learn the basics of how to lift properly.
I never knew how important it was to keep my shoulders back and my chest out. Being a woman, it felt very awkward to stick out my chest at first. But when I finally achieved good form, I realized what a difference it made! Now I can’t help but pull my shoulders back and push my chest out because it keeps me from getting hurt!
Good form saves you energy, prevents injury and builds muscles effectively because you are working your muscles properly. It is imperative when starting a training regiment to have someone knowledgable look at your form. There are little changes you can make to your stance and how you hold the weights that make a world of difference. I don’t know about you, but spending time in the gym takes a lot of sacrifice. So if I’m going to be there, I want to make the most of my time. I want my form to be perfect!
The same is true in our spiritual lives. The Bible gives us so many clues of how to interact with our Heavenly Father more effectively. In fact, Jesus lays out the most basic form in The Lord’s Prayer. And when Jesus gives His suggestions, we definitely want to listen!
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray”:
“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
Luke 11.2-4 (NLT)
Good form always starts with making God’s name holy. We can praise Him. We can thank Him. We can show Him our highest respect and admiration. Without God, we wouldn’t even have the breath in our lungs to pray.
Next, we need to be Kingdom minded. God has an ultimate plan for our lives, and we can gladly stay open to where He wants to guide our steps every day. Nothing done outside of God’s plan will have eternal value, so we should always put His agenda first!
Then, we need to keep our eyes focused on today. There are times we will reflect on the past and times we will focus on the future, but most of our time should be spent with our eyes on today. Today is the only day that we can do something for the Lord.
Also, we need to remember that our sins are forgiven. When we realize that our sins have been paid by the finished work of Jesus on the cross, we can’t help but be joyful! We can have a relationship with God even in our imperfect state because Jesus took our sins and gave us His righteousness!
And since our debt has been forgiven and we have gained everlasting life in heaven, we can freely forgive others. This world has been corrupted by sin, so pain, suffering and injustice have entered God’s perfect creation. But the heartache won’t last long. God will reclaim this world and establish His perfect glory!
Finally, we can resist temptation. Temptation is much like lifting weights. God will only allow us to lift the weight of temptation that we can handle. And if the temptation does start to break us, He will do what any good trainer will do–He will help carry the burden for us! So we don’t have to live in fear. We only need to trust in God. God uses the trials of life to make us spiritual stronger in Him!
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10.13 NLT).