Staring at my leafy salad, I paused before replying, “Yes, I’ll have a side of garlic parmesan fries as well.”
“Sure, I’ll be back with the fries.”
I hesitated before picking up my salad fork. The first few bites were bitter but I managed to choke down several mouthfuls before drenching the remains in ranch dressing. Why was it so hard to eat healthy? I’d already had a cappuccino and butter croissant; surely eating a salad would compensate for consuming a day’s worth of near-empty calories. This year I’d promised myself to start eating healthy. Exercising, more water intake, and adding vegetables to my meals didn’t sound THAT difficult. But despite my best efforts, my attempts to spruce up my diet had fallen short, and I’d already slipped back into my old habits.
When it comes to creating wholesome, dietary choices, I struggle severely. I’m envious of those who are motivated to maintain a positive lifestyle. However, our health is not just limited to eating the right foods; it involves proper rest, staying active, and prioritizing what is essential. It’s safe to assume that a majority of us adhere to a particularly unhealthy habit, but whether you struggle with acquiring proper rest, or prioritizing work over family, it’s challenging to stay disciplined.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, NIV).
Even if we have it all together with our physical health, a neglected relationship with God can sabotage our spiritual health as well. I often become preoccupied with others and focus on their faults instead of honestly looking at myself. As a result, gossip, judgment, and pride can then follow. Perhaps it’s our sinful, carnal nature that seeks to take the “easier” path, but if we’re willing to change, there are steps to get us back on track.
Five suggestions for building healthy, spiritual habits:
- Pray constantly―Prayer is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with God. When we include prayer in our daily routine, our relationship with Him strengthens and grows.
- Practice a Christlike approach―If you especially struggle with this, ask God to help you see others through Christ’s lens. Work on treating people through a more loving and peaceful approach.
- Be selfless ― Show kindness to others who can’t repay you ―this is the greatest form of selflessness. Try focusing more on others rather than self, and you’ll feel incredible by the results!
- Choose forgiveness―This is perhaps one of the most challenging. Choosing forgiveness over anger is difficult if you’ve been wronged. We mess up every day, but Christ still chooses to forgive us. Ask God to soften your heart if you struggle with forgiveness.
- Stay Thankful― When you wake up each morning, choose something specific to thank God for. We have so many things to be thankful for, yet we often neglect to praise our Creator.
Choose to embrace healthy habits in all areas of your life, and with God’s help, you can cultivate a healthier and more spiritual you!
Madeleine Temple-Lowe writes from Indiana.
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