Once you know to look for them, you’ll start noticing them everywhere: fitness trackers. With nifty new technology, more and more people use bracelets to monitor their health, fitness, activity, sleep quality, and more. The most popular fitness tracker is the Fitbit, and the most basic style is a small black wristband that looks like a watch without numbers. These amazing little devices track what you do and when you do it, so throughout the day you can check how active you’ve been: How close are you to taking the 10,000 steps a day that are suggested for good fitness?
Since being physically healthy is very important, I’m glad that new technology is helping people see how their daily activity affects their fitness. Everybody wants strong muscles, right? Well, your physical muscles aren’t the only ones you have. In a recent sermon, I said that humans shouldn’t just exercise their physical muscles but also their intellectual, emotional, and definitely their spiritual muscles.
Just like lifting weights, doing sit-ups, and going for runs make us physically stronger and fit, we should also monitor and exercise our faith–either through our regular activity or through intentional faith workouts that you plan for. That’s why I think we need a new kind of bracelet: a Faithbit. How neat would that be? A faith tracker that could help us know when we might need to take more spiritual steps each day to stay spiritually healthy.
So what kinds of things should a Faithbit measure? Well, another pastor recently came up with a good list of things a spiritual tracker could monitor:
- Worship – once a week you should gather with a group of other Jesus-followers to sing, speak, listen, give thanks, ask for help, and encourage each other.
- Bible reading – every day try to read a little something, maybe 1 chapter a day or 10 minutes a day + 1 psalm. For the rest of the day think about what you read and how it speaks to you. (Spiritual trainer tip: start reading the New Testament first, then go back to the Old.)
- Prayer – spend personal time every day talking to and listening to God. Every morning ask God for strength & guidance; then every night give thanks for what was good about the day.
- Community – participate in a small group that talks about real-life issues and asks faith questions. Sunday School is perfect for that (10:00), so is our Wednesday night Bible Study time (7:00). It’s hard to do pilates on your own; it’s better with a group. In the same way, getting spiritual exercise is easier and more fun with other people who are working on it.
- Service – put your faith into practice by showing compassion and helping another person. What’s the use in lifting weights if you just lay on the couch the rest of the time? It’s the same with faith: the more you practice it, the stronger and healthier you’ll be, and the better you’ll feel.
- Stewardship – give back to God to help others hear and practice their faith too. Gyms charge fees to come workout, churches don’t require fees, but we do invite people to give money so that our Faith Gym can help as many people as possible grow spiritually. (You can do this with the offering plates that are passed during worship, or do so online here.)
- Share – Make it a point to be honest with someone else about your spiritual exercise and your faith community. Just like someone doing physical exercise says, “I feel great these days, you should try it too. It’s made a big difference in my life,” you can say the same thing about your faith exercises.
No one has invented a Faithbit yet to monitor our spiritual fitness (but I’m trademarking the idea just in case 🙂 ™), so that means we gotta keep track ourselves. Get more involved with your spiritual fitness class at church so others can encourage you while you encourage them, take advantage of your pastor/spiritual trainer, and be thinking everyday how you can exercise your faith to make it stronger. Let’s get active!