After my annual physical, I’m newly motivated to get serious about my health. So, I’m working with a trainer again twice a week, and I’m trying to get to the gym at least 5 days a week, if not 6. According to my doctor, I’d be in great shape if I wasn’t so fat.
As my trainer and I were talking about my goal to lose weight, he made a remark that caught me off guard: “You can’t outwork your mouth.” At first, I thought he was making a snide remark about me talking too much (I’ve been accused of that before), but he wasn’t. He was talking about nutrition.
Now, most of us know that a healthy lifestyle involves both nutrition and exercise. We know we should eat better and work out more. Here’s the mistake most of us make. We think if we work out harder, we can make up for eating poorly. Our thinking goes like this: “Sure, I can eat this piece of cake. I’ll just run it off later.”
It doesn’t work like that. In fact, of the two, nutrition is probably the more important part of this equation. By dropping our consumption of fat, processed food, and refined sugars, we can go a long way toward becoming a more healthy us. Exercise is certainly an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but here’s the hard truth: we can’t undo what we do to our bodies through poor nutrition with a few hours of exercise—no matter how vigorous that exercise might be. The body will already have been damaged by the poor nutrition.
That got me thinking. In church, especially in Baptist churches, we talk a lot about repentance. This is right and good. But I was wondering—what if we, like good nutrition, put more emphasis on doing good things rather than just feeling bad about the wrong things we’ve done? What if the emphasis was on doing good things for our souls and world rather than talking about how many mistakes we’ve made?
Like nutrition, by the time we repent, the damage has already been done. The emphasis of a maturing disciple is less about avoiding wrong and more about doing right—being actively obedient to Jesus’ teachings and commands. Like my trainer said, “You can’t outwork your mouth.” Fill your life with good things and good things will pour out of your life to the ones you love.