You have an opportunity for change
Not just a physical change but a mental one. I used to think I was motivating myself by being self-critical. While I worked out, my mind taunted me: Wow, this is already so hard, and I’m out of breath. Why has it taken me so long to get back into working out? Ugh! I’m so out of shape. I better push through this or I’m never going to be happy with my body!
Nothing squashes motivation more than a lousy playlist blaring in your ears.
If you also have a familiar shame soundtrack running on repeat, I have great news: You can clean out the unwanted extended play of negative songs, and instead add in and focus on lyrics of love, hope, and faith.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” What if we applied this verse to ourselves and our minds? We’d be working out and living to a different tune. A mix with grace and hope sounds like this: “Wow, this is already so hard. But that’s okay! I’m going to push through this because I’m strong. I can do this. I got this. I’m taking care of the body that God gave me, and I’m proud of myself for showing up today.”
You’ll love listening to God. He is not the author and speaker of condemnation or confusion. He is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy (Psalm 103:8). Your path of transformation physically and spiritually becomes one of joy when you learn to discern which words are His and listen accordingly. When you’re victorious, listen for the voice that builds you up. When you struggle, you’ll hear His correction and wisdom.
Don’t entertain thoughts that have no business being there in the first place. If the voice in your head isn’t lovely or kind, don’t listen to it. Tune out the loud bullying voices and listen for God’s loving whispers. Ask God to help you tell the difference between His voice of loving conviction and the enemy’s voice of condemnation. Ask Him to help you retrain your mind to only listen to the thoughts that come from Him. Which come from Him? If you’re unsure about the source of the voice in your head, see if it lines up with the character of God. Is it merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and full of mercy? Learn to listen to the voice of love and you’ll discover that other thoughts have no room in your head or heart.
You’ll know the Holy Spirit’s voice because it leads you to the cross, and you’ll know the enemy’s voice because it drives you away from the cross. When we stop listening to lies, we’ll hear the melodies of grace and knowledge from God.
No more lie-tunes
Did you know that everything you do flows from your heart? That’s what Proverbs 4:23 says. If we protect, or clean up, our minds and hearts, everything in our life will be graced by that decision. How can we really do this? Let’s look at this verse for guidance: “Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Anything that tries to exalt itself against the knowledge of God is a lie, and we are to bring that thought into the light of truth, where those lies can’t hide.
Next time you’re at the gym crushing your workout but crushing thoughts are threatening to take over, edify your heart and mind. What does that mean? It means to instruct or improve. Edify your thoughts by making them obedient to Christ. Don’t give that chorus of lies a chance to amp up the downbeat. Bring those thoughts to Jesus. Add to your spiritual, mental soundtrack with sound wisdom from God’s Word and His heart.
Through her YouTube channel, podcast, weekly emails, and her new book, Growing Strong, Cambria Joy’s passion is to help others feel healthy from the inside out. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Cambria lives in a tiny beach town on the coast of California with her husband, Bo, and her tiny dog, Meester.