Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Principle of Being Prudent

"If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all"

"Hey! You should watch your mouth!"

How may times as a child were you told that? How many times as a parent have I said that?

One of my jobs as a parent it to teach my children how to become effective communicators. And it is my responsibility to train them in how to do so with grace, dignity, and a loving spirit.

The best way that I can teach my children these skills is to model it on a consistent basis.

The woman found in Proverbs 31 shows us how this is accomplished through the ability to use a prudent tongue.

Defining Prudent

Being 'prudent' can fall in any number of categories, however, for the purpose of our study on this remarkable woman we are going to focus on the area of having a prudent tongue. 

To paint a word picture of a prudent person we see someone who is practically wise. They are aware of the potential consequence and makes action decisions based around that. 

Proverbs 31:26 says:
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue
 Here we see that she thinks before she speaks and she uses words to project kindness to others around her. James 3:5 reminds us that our tongue is such a small part of the human body and yet it has the capabilities to lift up or destroy so much. Backing up to James 3:2 we learn that if a person has control of their tongue the are able to be in control of their whole body.

This woman, our picture of the ideal, is capable of having that type of control.

Examples of a Prudent (and Not So Prudent) Tongues in Scripture

The Bible is full of places that direct us in how we are to use our tongue. We have examples of how to speak and how not to speak.

In Exodus we find that  Miriam, a woman who longed to follow God whole-heartedly, allowed her tongue to get the better of her. Her sharp, complaining tongue got her into a heap of trouble and she found she had to reap the consequences in the form of a physical malady.

We see that Isaiah had his tongue cleansed first by God before anything else, a reminder that we too need to have our tongues cleansed from. 

Think Before You Speak

Colossians 4:6 says 
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer another person.
We are called to use our words wisely. Colossians reminds us we need to stop and think before we open our mouths and speak. However, before we really begin to get control of our mouths and the words that we say we have to stop and take the time to evaluate what is in our heart.

Luke 6:45 states that what is in our heart will come out of our mouths. If we want to be sure that we are allowing up-lifting, edifying, gracious things to be what comes out of our mouths we have to first start with what we are allowing into our hearts.

The best way to ensure the things that are going in are the things we want coming out is to daily make Psalm 19:14 be our earnest prayer.

Once that prayer has become a part of daily life, the next step to take is to filter everything you intend to say through the following list of criteria:

  • Is it kind?
  • Is it necessary
  • Is it true?
  • Is it gossip?
  • Am I defending my own opinion rather than engaging in active listening?
By filtering our words through these 5 questions we might just be surprised at how little we will have to say to begin with. Once we start to really hone in and focus on using our words for edifying and uplifting, we begin to really see just how little of that has actually been done in the past. 

Becoming An Encourager Rather Than a Discourager

The Proverbs 31 woman made encouragement a part of her daily life. She used her words for imparting wisdom and kindness, seeking to lift others up rather than tear them down. We can follow her example by becoming women who encourage by inspiring others with a renewed courage, spirit, or hope. We can use our words to affirm other's character while directing them to more beneficial actions. Through prayer, coming along side those who are in physical need, and learning to display gratefulness we can train ourselves to search for the positive character qualities in those around us. 

A Final Thought

Early on in the semester we were encouraged to try out a little experiment. It goes a little like this:
  1. Determine your height in inches
  2. Stick out your tongue and measure the length when out as far as you can get it
  3. Determine the size of your tongue compared to your height in inches
I did this little experiment and I came to find that I am roughly 65 inches tall. When sticking my tongue out as far as I could get it, it measured at just shy of 2.5 inches long. That is a BIG difference between my height and the length of my tongue. However, that little 2.5 inches is often far more powerful than any of the rest of my 65 inches could ever be. We see throughout Scripture that if we do not learn to control the smallest of body parts we will be overtaken. It is truly amazing how something so relatively small can either build up in a great fashion or tear down in utter devastation. The question that we have to answer is how are we going to use our tongues?

How do you use your tongue to encourage others? Would you consider yourself "prudent" when considering your speech? How can you more more in that direction today? Join us next time as we discuss the principle of being lovable.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Principle of Being Honorable

"That was an honorable thing to do"

Have you ever heard those words? Or maybe even said them?

I can remember a time when I witnessed a young boy, about 5 years old, find a dollar on the ground in his Sunday School classroom. One of the other teachers in the room told him it was his lucky day because he just made a whole dollar. However, he made the decision to bring the dollar bill to me because he knew it wasn't his so he knew he shouldn't keep it. It didn't matter that he was the only child left in the class and the other teacher and I were on our way out as soon as he was collected by his parents. He knew that dollar wasn't his to keep. I told him, as I took the dollar, that he was doing a very honorable thing.

What made that young man, in that moment, worthy to be called "honorable"? What about his decision in that moment stood out? And how does that apply to our lives as women striving to live out the principles found in Proverbs 31? Let's dive in and see.

Defining Honorable

"Honorable" can be described as the quality of displaying a high regard or giving of great respect. The idea of integrity comes to mind when I think about this definition. Acting from what is within the heart rather than what is on the surface is what determines our level of integrity.  This means that when acting from what is within your heart your true motivations are shown. To be an honorable woman our motivation needs to come from the Lord and not from whatever perceived glory we may receive. 

Being Honorable in our Appearance

Proverbs 31:25 says:
Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come.

I have often heard that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Generally, that first impression is made without ever having a single word spoken. People make a snap decision about a person the minute their eyes meet the visual picture that is presented. The style of dress and the way a person carries themselves is usually the first impression that is made.

So what is it that motivates our clothing choices. If you talk to any person who is worth their salt in the fashion world you will learn that clothing is designed to draw the eye to various places. Prints, patterns, lines, and shapes are all used to draw the attention to any number of body parts. I remember a time when I was watching a popular television show and one of the main characters was being criticized for his over the top belt buckles. He (the main character) insisted that he wore them because they made him happy. The person criticizing countered that it made him happy because it caused individuals (especially women) to look in a region of his body that was less than appropriate.

I watched that scene in that show probably close to 10 years ago and it still stands out to me today. Why? Because it reminds me that the clothing I choose to wear matters. If I make a choice to wear a t-shirt that is a bit to low cut I am all but inviting men to stare at an area of my body that should only be reserved for my husband's view. I am also communicating that all I have to offer the world is my physical appearance. Psalm 119:105 reminds us that we are to allow God's words and principles to light our path. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 calls us to abstain from all appearances of evil. By passing our dressing decisions, the world's first
impression of us, through the filter of Scripture we are able to put not only our best foot forward each day but also that of the one we are called to represent.
physical appearance.

Reflecting Honor for Our Husband's Sake

The woman in Proverbs 31 not only acts in a way that brings her personal honor but we see that she is also able to bring honor to her husband. In the principle of trustworthy we talked about how this woman's husband's trust in her was so complete it was a reflex reaction. She worked hard to not put his name in the dirt. She used her influence in the community to bring him good as we will see when we get further on in our study. She embraced the principles found in Genesis 2:18. Here we see that God has a design and an intended purpose for the man and the woman. This particular woman, our example, embraced her role as a helpmeet coming along side him excitedly to work with him and not as a competitor against him. She was his partner in all things.

Excellence as a Craftswoman

God created us to be creative. We all have gifts to share and use with the world. Often times we (and by 'we' I really mean I) have bought into the idea that if I am going to produce something it has to be perfect. In our world of Pinterest and Instagram it seems that if we can't produce perfection then we can't contribute to the world. The truth of the matter is, that's just not true. See, what God wants is excellence, not perfection.

God wants us to give our all when using the gifts and talents he has given us. He wants us to excel but that doesn't mean that our products won't ever be without flaw. But what it does mean is that we present good quality. This doesn't have to be in the market place either. It can be in the things you make, do and prepare just in your home for your own family. In order to practice the principle of being honorable when referring to excelling as a craftswoman four characteristics are required: 
  • Humility: knowing we can't excell on our own but only through God's strentgh
  • Unselfishness: sharing what we have and can do with others.
  • Gentleness: teaching and training in a kind manner
  • Patience: bearing with others as they continue to learn and grow while you focus on teaching.
If these four characteristics are put into practice then becoming a woman of honor we can put our pride away and be able to develop relationships that will last long into the future.

A Final Thought

All of these thought can be boiled down to how we have control of our bodies. Our bodies, according to Romans 12:1-2, are to be presented as a living sacrifice to the Lord. This means that we are not to conform to the ways of the world and we are not to use our bodies as instrument of sin. When we make the decision to present ourselves as living sacrifices we are acknowledging that our bodies are the dwelling place of the Lord and that He has the control of what it is we are to be doing. When we filter our thought, actions, and motives through this context living a life of being honorable is within our reach each and every day. 

How do you filter your thoughts, decisions, and motivations each day? Do you live a life based on being a living sacrifice to the Lord? How can you make adjustments so that this becomes more of a practice? Join me next time when we talk about the Principle of Being Prudent.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Principle of Being Prepared

Benjamin Franklin once said "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."

Each day presents any number of unique circumstances, events, and even challenges. How we prepare for the possibility of anything that could come up will determine how we respond when a new need arises.

I am a planner. I like to have a schedule. I like knowing what is going to happen next. I like being prepared.

And when we read in Proverbs 31: 21-22 and 27 we learn that the woman found in these verses also liked to be prepared.

Defining Prepared

The principle of being prepared, when we look at it from the context of the Proverbs 31 passage, can best be described as taking the time to cultivate a tender heart to be ready for any circumstance that may arise. The woman of Proverbs 31 has taken the time to be ready for any circumstance. She has the foresight to ensure that her family is well dressed no matter what the season. If it is cold and snowy their is no worry of getting trapped without a coat. If it is warm and sunny out, her family is prepared to stay cool and refreshed. This woman is ready for any occasion.

Living a Prepared Life

How do we, in our fast paced always on the go lifestyles, incorporate a life of being prepared? First of all, we have to learn to live in surplus so that we don't have to be constantly working in survival mode. There are areas of our life where we can get ahead of the game. We can work within our finances to have a cushion. If we take the time each month to evaluate our budget we can focus on saving money for emergencies and be properly prepared for what may come. When we stop and take time to plan out or day and our week we can know where we will have free time or "wiggle room" in our schedules for when a crisis may arise. 

Determining Appropriate Priorities

Staying ahead of tasks and finances and refraining from living a prepared life. In order to know what areas we  need to prepare in advance we need to determine and stick to our priorities. In our social media world, it is really easy to get caught up in the ins and outs of what others seem to be accomplishing. Living a life of preparedness reminds us that we will each have our own priorities, and while what our friends on Pinterest or Facebook seem to be accomplishing is wonderful, their priorities are not the same as ours. We can not spend our time comparing our priorities to those of others in our circle. Not even our best friends.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-13 serves as a guide for how we, as wise women in progress, can determine our priorities for our lives.  We learn in these 13 verses that our priorities should be filtered though four main filters as we determine what is important in our lives.  Paul tells us we are to be biblical with the scriptures saturating every aspect of our lives, we are to be authentic living a life that is genuine with no masks and games, we are to be gracious allowing the Holy Spirit to have control of our convictions being careful how we respond when it comes to confrontation, accepting people where they are rather than expecting more out of them, and we are to be relevant meeting people where they are at while ensuring our talk matched our walk.

Final Thoughts

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.
 The woman found in Proverbs 31: 21-22 and 27 has taken this verse to heart. Her trust is in the Lord and her roots are planted firmly near the banks of the living water that is the Lord. She is clearly not anxious about what is to come and she is able to bear fruit constantly.  While being prepared in terms of finances, material things, and even in daily plans are all things that we, as busy keepers of our homes, should be concerned about, the best way to ensure we are prepared for the things that are to come is to ensure we are firmly rooted in the Lord each and ever day.

How does your life measure up when filtered thorough Jeremiah 17:7-8? How can you ensure that you are more prepared in all things? Join me next time when I discuss the principle of being honorable. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Principle of Being Unselfish.

It's not hard to notice that we live in a very me-centric society. All you have to do is turn on the TV, log on to any social media site, or stand in line at the grocery store to be bombarded with advertisements, pictures, and products that are designed to help people look out for "# 1"

"Looking out for #1" That is a phrase I have heard often in my life from various people. They say Dthings like, "I gotta do whats best for me. I am always looking out for # 1" They say this as if they are truly the most important person to ever walk the face of planet Earth.

While I will admit we do need to look out for our best interests and do the things that will keep us healthy, safe, and cared for, the woman we have been discussion for the past several posts shows us that if we are really going to be "looking out for # 1" we have to learn to put others first.

Defining Unselfish

The Proverbs 31 would probably never be found on a list of people who would be classified as "selfish" In fact, most, in today's society, would say that she was just too giving and didn't take any 'me' time for herself. And that might be true. But what does the term Unselfish even really mean?

To define unselfish first we have to establish what fits into the mold of being "selfish" 

Selfish can be defined as someone who is so wrapped up in their own welfare and interests that the welfare and circumstances of the people around them simply don't matter. 

It would stand to reason, then, that the quality of being unselfish would be the opposite of selfish. A person who is unselfish could be considered a person who makes the choice to put the welfare, happiness, and needs of others before their own.

The Unselfish Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31:20 says,
She opens her hands to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
We have already seen as we have looked as several of the other verses in this 21 verse passage that the welfare and needs of this woman's family~those persons who live in her home~as well as the individuals who are employed in her home are cared for. Their welfare and interests are made a priority. But what we see here is that this woman is not so consumed by her own plans, projects, and affairs that she doesn't have time to help out others who cross her path.

In the post on being Economical we saw that her lamp never goes out at night. This wasn't because she was hard at work at all hours of the day and night. It was because she, along with her husband, wanted others in their neighborhood to know they were available. They had resources to share and they were ready and willing to be of service where ever they would have been needed. She also wasn't afraid to offer her help when she saw a need.

How to be Unselfish in our 'me-centric' society

How many times has a post on social media, or a prayer request in the church bulletin, or a random comment from a friend come across your path and you thought to yourself: "Hey, I could probably help with that." But then you keep scrolling, toss the bulletin in the trash, or change the subject in the conversation because really, if you thought hard about it, you didn't really want to get involved anyway? I know for me, that has happened more than I like to admit. But what makes us respond in that manner rather than taking a page out of the Proverbs 31 woman's book and extending our hand to the needy?

Pride, that's what makes us respond this way.

Proverbs 16: 18 reminds us that
Pride goes before destruction and an haugty spirit before a fall.
Our pride gets in the way and we think "I don't have time for that." or "If they really needed help they would come ask directly instead of posting this on social media just looking for sympathy."

So how do we get past that and learn to extend our hand?

  • First of all we can learn to be active participants in other's lives. This means being willing to step up immediately when someone asks for help. Instead of looking around the room hoping someone else will raise their hand, being the first person to say, "YES I can help with that need.
  • Secondly, learning how to take a more passive role. This means being acutely aware of what is going on in the lives of those around us and being willing to step in and offer help before someone has to ask for it. 
  • Thirdly, we have to be willing and able to follow though on the help that is asked for or offered freely. If you see that some is need of a meal but you really don't have time to cook something extra don't flake out at the last minute. Take some time and order that family a pizza or some other form of delivery food. If you were asked to babysit for a mom who needs to be at important meeting don't make the decision the day of that you just don't want to deal with another child. Be willing to follow through or don't offer/accept the responsibility!

A Final Thought

Scripture is full of examples of unselfish individuals as well as those who fall on the other side of the coin. If we turn again to Proverbs we see in chapter 16 verse 17 that Who ever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. You see, if we are going to be the hands and feet of Jesus then we have to learn to put the "me" away and start focusing on the people that God has placed in our path. Jesus, the ultimate example of unselfishness, said in Matthew 25:40 that "whatever you do to the least of these, you also do to me."  The best way to begin to transition from a life of  'selfishness' to a life of 'unselfishness' is to filter our decisions through this prayer:


Where do you fall on the "selfish" scale? Do you have an attitude of open handedness or do you keep your hands closed tight? How can you work to become less selfish? Join me next time when we learn about the principle of being prepared.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Principle of Being Economical


I'll be honest, that is a word that I have never really been a HUGE fan of. Sure I went through the process of learning what a budget is and how to use one in high school (well, I actually learned about it in middle school but that was more of a happy accident due to extra curricular activities rather than a class for credit). I also knew that once I was out on my own in college or when I got married I would need to put into practice the use of a budget so that things that needed to get done got done.

The problem is all these things were just head knowledge but I never actually put them into practice. I would roll my eyes and mutter under my breath about how I had everything under control every time someone in my circle made a comment about setting a budget and getting on a good path. The truth was I didn't have everything under control and my husband and I were in a downward spiral of debt and we had a baby on the way. We were as far from "Economical" as we could get.

Defining Economical

The idea of being 'economical' is the concept of not being wasteful. This includes time, money, fuel, or any other resource. So if being economical focuses on not being wasteful then what is the best way to go about that?

We make a plan of how we will use our resources. And really, isn't that all that a budget really is? Making a plan of how, when, and where to use the resources that God has provided to each and every one of us. Not only do we make the plan of how we are going to use our resources, but we have to actually use that plan. We have to put it into action using that plan to guide and direct each of our daily decisions as we navigate through life. 

The Economical Woman

Now that we know what economical is, how do we see that being put into action in the Proverbs 31 woman? Proverbs 31:18 says,
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night.
First of all we see that she takes time to consider the product she is putting out into the world. She knows what good quality looks like. She has taken the time to learn the requirements of those who pay top dollar for things in her world and she does not put out anything less. She also does not accept anything less into her home.

You may be thinking that you don't have any 'merchandise' out in the world so how on earth does that apply to me? Well, to that I say, of course you do! You have talents and abilities that God has given you and you can and should learn how to use those to benefit your home and your family. You can learn what good quality is, you can learn how to look for a bargain, and you can become a good researcher. Learning to be a master researcher and practicing comparison shopping prior to making purchases can help you put that budget plan that has been created into action. And the better you get at it the more you can come along side someone and help them learn how to put those same tools into their tool belt.

The second thing we see is that 'her lamp does not go out at night.' Let me start by saying that this DOES NOT mean that she never goes to sleep. She does not stay up working for her family 24 hours a day. What this means is that she has budgeted her resources so well that she always had plenty to share. The light always being on meant that she was available to help those in need at any hours. It also meant that she managed her resources so well she had the oil that was necessary to keep a lamp running for that length of time. Being economical also means you project availability for those around you.

Becoming Economical

The first step to developing this principle of being economical is to start with checking your attitude toward money and your material possessions. Deuteronomy 8:18 reminds the reader that it is God who gives us the power to gain wealth. And in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 we are told to not set our hopes in the uncertainty of riches. Rather we are to place our hopes in God who provides us with everything that we get to enjoy each day. If we have that perspective on our money and the material possessions we have then we can remember that nothing truly belongs to us, but in fact, belongs to God and is just on loan to us to use for the purpose of building His kingdom. 

The second thing once we have our attitude in the right place it to remember that we are called to give God the first fruits of our labor. We must be in the habit and practice of giving our tithe on a consistent basis. God requires we give him our best and one of the ways we do that is through our tithe. This is the FIRST 10%  (at a minimum) of our income but we can also remember that we can, and should be giving God our first fruits of our talents and abilities that God has gifted us with. God tells us in Malachi 3:10 that if we will bring our tithe into the store house he will throw open the floodgates and pour out his blessings. I have not ever met a person that has said they wished the wouldn't have given their tithe because the just didn't see the benefits. If anything, I have heard story after story of God doing just what he promised in Malachi. Being economical means being responsible with the gifts God has given and giving credit where credit is due.

A Final Thought

Scripture is full of wealthy individuals who learned how to use their wealth for the glory of God's kingdom. Ultimately, they came to God with the right heart and the right desire to do good things with the resources God had given them. They lived with an attitude of contentment no matter what their material circumstances were and God blessed them for it. The Proverbs 31 woman did not see her possessions and her material things as the means for her security, instead she had a gracious humble spirit that allowed her to give to others generously and willingly. The principle of being economical is more than just knowing how to find a bargain and working within a budget. In truth, the principle of being economical is all about the attitude in which you choose to view wealth and material possessions.

What is your attitude toward money and material things? Do you look to the things you have for your security or do you find your security in the Lord? How can you start today to focus more on the Lord and less on the physical things that will pass away? Join me next time when we jump into the principle of being unselfish.


Friday, March 3, 2017

The Principle of Being Physically Fit

Physically Fit.

Ok. Let me be the first to say that when we got ready to study this principle I wanted to find an excuse to not be in class. I would not be the person that would fall into any real category of being "physically fit" and I haven't been since I was about 16 years old. Life circumstances, college, and 2 (almost 3) children have aided in my lack of what some would call "physical fitness."

However, I was pleasantly surprised (as I have been through each one of these lessons) that my clothing size doesn't really have much to do with how physically fit I am for the job that God has called me to do.

Defining Physically Fit

The best way to think about the concept of physically fit when we are putting it in the context of the Proverbs 31 woman is that she is in good physical conditions. This has 3 criteria that goes with it:

  1. She is suitable. She has assessed the job requirements and determined where she needs to adjust and adapt to get the job done.
  2. She is proper. She has taken her suitability and combined it with good judgement.
  3. She is fit. She has learned to work within the requirements of the job and made adjustment when needed.

An Attitude Adjustment

Proverbs 31:17 says:
She dresses herself with strength and makers her arms strong.
Here we see this woman has a realistic attitude about the condition of her body. She takes the time to evaluate the things she can do and she doesn't dwell on the things she can't. She realized, like we have discussed in previous principles, that she has limitation and she has abilities. She has learned to work within those parameters.

Often times we think that we have to go to the gym and have a lot of intentional focused "work out" time if we are going to get any type of exercise done in our day. However, if we were to take the time to sit and really think about the things we do to manage our homes each day we would realize that the activities that take place in our home are the same that take place in the gym. You rush up and down hallways and stairs (if you have them), you bend over and pick things up several times a day. You squat to kiss a boo boo, clean up a mess, or communicate with a child. If you are like me and can't reach the top shelf well, you climb, stair step, or jump to reach things high above you. Exercise can, and does, happen anywhere if you think of things in the right manner.

An important area that we as women who are striving to become "physically fit" is to learn to read our own bodies. Each one of us has a cycle that ebbs and flows. We will have good days where we are sure we could take on anything and we will have bad days that leave us wanting to do little more than climb into bed, hide under the blankets, and wait out the return of Jesus. How we respond to each of those peaks and valleys as well as whatever happens in between will also determine how well we are 'fit' for the job we have been given to do. When we take the time to really know our body we can learn to plan for various occasions and set our schedules (to the best of our ability) around the good days and the bad.

A Living Sacrifice

In Romans 12:1 Paul reminds us that we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord. Our bodies are to be holy and pleasing to the Lord. When the Israelite people brought their sacrifices to the Lord in the Old Testament the were called to bring God the very best. He wanted the first and the best each time they presented a sacrifice. This is no different for us today. God wants us to give Him the very best of ourselves. We can only do this if we take the necessary measures to care for our body. 

Eating the right foods, moving in some manner each day (as a busy wife/mother/homemaker this should be an easy aspect), and getting enough rest are all important areas that must be maintained to be a presentable sacrifice to the Lord. This means we need to learn and understand the importance of recreation. Having fun and taking some down time is ok. It is a good thing to do. We all need time to rest and recharge so that we can function at the best of our ability. 

We also have to learn to be managers of our time and not become a frazzled, stressed out version of ourselves. Through managing our time, planning out our days, weeks, and months we can in essence "gird our loins". We can be prepared for what might come by knowing what will come. If we know our schedule and have a basic routine down it is so much easier to adjust to the sudden onset of illness, emergency circumstances, and days just not going quite right. When we take the time to present our best to God, preparing for anything that might come along, living in the realm of being physically fit for the task God has assigned to us we are able to create a welcoming environment that provides rest and refuge for those in our care and those who cross our paths. 

A Final Thought

The idea of being "physically fit" has been so distorted by the world's view of what a 'fit' person looks like. Any time I hear the term being 'physically fit' I automatically begin to shrink back hoping that no one notices me standing in the crowd. But God has a different perception. Should we take care of our bodies? Absolutely! But are we required to be a size 2 in order to say we have done that? Not at all. At the end of the day, what we are required to do is have the capabilities to complete the task that God has given us. We need to be able to effectively manage our homes, be present and active in the lives of our family and those around us, and give the absolute best to God as we present ourselves as a living sacrifice each and every day we are granted time here on earth.

Are you giving God your 'first fruits'? Is the living sacrifice you are presenting to the Lord each day your best and brightest? If not, what can you do to ensure you are caring for your body so that you might be 'physically fit' enough to give God the best you have to give? Join me next time when I talk about the principle of being economical.