Strength training isn’t just for bodybuilders lifting weights in the gym any more. Many people are incorporating it to their workout routines. Studies show that strength training can improve your balance, strengthen your bones, benefit your heart and help you lose weight.
I must confess that when I first started hearing about this concept, my mind immediately thought of “bulking up”. This did not appeal to me. But after some research, I and decided that light weights and resistance training could be beneficial. Here’s why it works.
Muscle damage and repair
Damage occurs within the muscle fibers in the form of tears. Our amazing bodies repair the damage on the days we don’t workout. Additional tissue then forms around the site of the injury, increasing your muscle and over time your strength.
I began thinking of this whole process on a spiritual level. In my last blog I wrote about things that hinder our “workouts” with God.
One of the heaviest weights I think that I have ever carried is
ANGER AND BITTERNESS
Damage occurs on a deep tissue level (the heart) and forms tears. The body attempts to form additional tissue around the injury sight (hardening of the heart). This causes the muscle (anger bitterness) to grow bigger.
Anger and bitterness is a choice and it takes a lot of work—just like a our physical workout routines.
The antidote to anger and bitterness is FORGIVENESS.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Forgiveness is also a choice that takes a lot of work.
Lewis B. Smedes wrote in his book, Forgive and Forget, “When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself.”
There is a sense of freedom that comes from forgiveness versus bondage and slavery that comes from bitterness.
Read the scripture above from Matthew again.
Notice that forgiveness is a process. It’s not a one-time choice and then we magically live in the state of forgiveness. Nope. It takes work. But it’s work that is important to the Lord. It’s important to our relationship to Him and to others.
Forgiveness goes against our human nature, wouldn’t you agree?
We need something supernatural. We need the Master of forgiveness—JESUS.
He hung from the cross exclaiming, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
This is going to be a tough workout, with some heavy weights. But instead of lifting and carrying those weights around, Jesus wants us to do something different.
Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I’m humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
Whew! The weight of anger is so heavy. But forgiveness may seem like we are saying that what happened is okay. As a result, we may continue carrying it.
“We are to forgive so that we may enjoy God’s goodness without feeling the weight of anger burning deep within our hearts. Forgiveness does not mean we recant the fact that what happened to us was wrong. Instead, we roll our burdens onto the Lord and allow Him to carry them for us.” ~Charles Stanley
I decided to give the weights of anger and bitterness to God. It’s been a daily workout that has been well worth it!
It starts with a prayer. And then another. And then another. And that’s okay.