I’m aging. This month my age pendulum swung a year closer to 50 than to 40, so I’m consolidating some extra focus (that’s what I tell myself anyway) to train my body to crave clean foods, fewer carbs and more sleep. Less sugary sweets also wouldn’t hurt. Without this kind of deliberate training, my body seems to rapidly slouch toward the grave.
As much as improving our physical health and overall fitness is life changing, is that our most important target area? Is there a better way to upgrade and enhance the vital aspects of our lives?
Well according to the Christian faith, there is. In advising a young church leader, Paul shares that “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)
We train ourselves to DO things (drive a car, repair the house, prepare a meal, have a baby, pay the bills online, cultivate a garden, use Netflix, etc.), but why not try some focused spiritual training? Why not spend some of our lives intentionally training ourselves to BE: be alive, be informed, be mature, be productive, and be an influencer? If you’re ready to improve your spiritual well-being, here are 5 Upgradable Areas Of A Christian’s Life and the resources you can use for each one.
- Train your heart. Refocus your heart’s affection on what matters most: worshiping our creator. Here are some great training tools:
A Praying Life by Paul Miller
Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith by Scotty Smith
Gospel Worship by Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs (1599–1646)
The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller
Look & Live by Matt Papa
- Train your mind. Learn more about your faith and the story of God.
You Are What You Love by James K. A. Smith
Eight Theses on God and Government (within “Thinking about the Election from a Biblical Point of View”) by Sam Storms
God’s Word For You Series by The Good Book Company
The Bible Project Video Bible Reading Series
The Reason For God by Timothy Keller
- Train your hands. Sharpen your skills and vision for living the Christian life.
Do More Better by Tim Challies
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt
Saturate The World by Jeff Vanderstelt
- Train your family. Disciplemaking is our mission. Our marriage & family is the most vital place to start.
The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp
The Radical Book For Kids by Champ Thornton
Leading Family Worship by the Verge Network
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Long Story Short by Marty Machowski
What’s In The Bible by Phil Vischer ( Children’s Video Series )
- Train for leadership. You have influence. Take responsibility to use it well.
The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler
The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner, and John C. Maxwell
These might be the jump-start you need to resource your ambition. So be careful not to leave it to chance. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better. The benefits are for this life — oh, and more importantly, for the life to come.
For next steps and motivation moving forward, take advantage of these additional self-leadership website and blogs:
Authored by NCC Lead Pastor Dan Williams | northcentral.org