Recently I purchased a Fitbit (Inspire 2 model) as part of my overall wellness strategy to pursue excellence in physical health in a disciplined way as I age.
It’s a fabulous bit of technology that is worn on my wrist, syncs with a Fitbit phone app, and tracks my wellbeing on a number of key dimensions in real time including:
- Daily sleep pattern
- Number of steps
- Heart rate
- Calories consumed
- Water intake
- Body weight
Of course, this daily Fitbit tracking exercise is ultimately of little value unless I have set fitness goals, use the Fitbit to track and monitor how I am doing, and intentionally take action to move forward with progress.
Whether we are measuring the number of steps taken each day, or the number of customers called, we all know there is a solid correlation between goal setting and tracking outcomes as a means to further success in the key dimensions of our business lives and our physical wellbeing.
The old maxim, “It’s not what we expect, but what we inspect that gets done,” has great merit for all dimensions of life.
And especially so in our spiritual lives.
The truth is that while bodily exercise and the monitored pursuit of physical well-being is vitally important to healthy living, it should not be our dominant priority.
God makes this abundantly clear when the Apostle Paul writes to his young protégé, Timothy and says the following:
“Spend your time and energy in the exercise of being spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So, exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian, because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too.” (The Message, 1 Timothy 4:8)
Paul goes on to tell Timothy to “…set an example in speech, in love, in faith and in purity.” He tells him to “be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them.”
Paul’s point is clear. Exercise yourself spiritually. Set a goal to become godly. (In another place he refers to this as becoming more like Christ.) Be disciplined in your pursuit of spiritual maturity. Over time…demonstrate spiritual growth!
This is what God expects of all of us.
We would do well to remember that God is in the heart-monitoring business. God not only expects, he also inspects. In 2 Chronicles 16:9 we read,
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
And the Prophet Samuel reminds us,
“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Just as the Fitbit monitors my cardio progress, God’s Holy Spirit is monitoring my interior life. David said,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Progress in Christlikeness is anything but perfunctory. It doesn’t just happen. It requires goal setting, disciplined intentionality, and focused attention.
So what soul priorities are you setting? What dimensions of your spiritual life are you tracking? How frequently do you “ponder the pattern my life is weaving?”
Now here’s the really good news! Whereas I’m pretty well on my own to set and achieve my Fitbit wellness goals, when it comes to growth in Christlikeness, God has promised to work alongside you and me as our spiritual coach. Meditate for a moment on these remarkable words.
“Continue to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2: 12-13)
Blessings for a good week of heart tracking and growth in Christlikeness!