I am not a germaphobe. It takes a lot to gross me out. We all have friends or family members who get grossed out if you have a sniffle. I am the type who will inch closer to a germ adverse person and pretend to breathe on them. They usually get irritated with me and yell, "Hannah, you are the worst!". I shrug and agree.
Here's what I think; you're going to be sick at some point. Being sick is just something that happens if you're human. However, there are a few things that you can do to prevent taking sick days at work or skipping your grad school class because of the stomach flu.
In order to stay well, you don't stay out late to see that movie on the night it opens in theatres. You don't go outside without that embarrassingly large coat to keep you stay warm. You eat healthier, drink more water, and resist a hug from a sick friend. You could also do what I do. I put on a pair of sneakers and go for a run.
Running adds years to your life, fights cancer, makes you happier, actually strengthens your knees and for some reason, clears out a head cold. I won't lie, it is the last thing I would like to do when I have been blowing my nose all day.
Being spiritually sick is the same way. You don't have to, but if you want to feel better, have energy, or not to spread the sickness to others, you can do things that make you spiritually healthy.
That's why the Bible talks about spiritual disciplines. Things like prayer, journaling, fasting, and fellowship all give you better spiritual health. Just like running, when we are sick spiritually the last thing we want to do is run to Jesus. Leaning into him is where we will find healing. Again, disciplines are not what makes you a "better Christian". No, they are things that help us connect with our Creator. Having a relationship with Jesus will give you abundantly more life, energy, and the ability to love those around you, not to mention save you from your selfishness and sin.
The key verse to look at is 1 Timothy 4:7, Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.
Since we are still here on earth, we have to make a conscious effort to run to Jesus. That's why we call prayer a spiritual discipline. Praying throughout the day doesn't come naturally to us. We have to be disciplined to cultivate a relationship with Jesus Christ.
There is a big difference between the fruits of the spirit mentioned in Galatians and spiritual disciplines. Have you ever thought of comparing the two? The fruits of the spirit are about being. For example, peace is a state in which we find ourselves when we are spending time just being with Jesus. The other spiritual disciplines are about doing. The disciplines are actions we can take to get to know Christ more and to be more like him. The reason it is important to point out this difference is that if you are just reading your Bible because it is the "right thing" to do, you are missing the point. The "right motive" is important. The Pharisees prayed because it was the "right thing" to do (Luke 18:11). Pray, journal, get your color highlighters and your leather bound journal out but do it all to know Jesus more.
Don't run just to wear your new workout gear. Run because it is going to heal you. Run to Jesus because he is the only one who can heal you.
Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.
That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.