I do not like to go to the gym. I go because I know that exercise keeps my body fit and healthy. My exercise of choice is walking. I rather walk early in the morning and ponder the beauty of nature than hustle through a crowded gym of perspiring people and pretend I’m not in pain. The gym is just not for me. Frankly, if we’re honest, few people really enjoy exercising. But we know that exercise is the best prescription for good health. When you are fit you communicate something about yourself. Physical fitness says I care, I am disciplined and I devote my time to a healthy lifestyle.
It was back in the 1980’s that aerobic exercise first became widely popular. You may remember the 1981 hit song “Physical” by Olivia Newton John. John sang this song as she starred alongside John Travolta in the iconic movie “Grease.” There is a line in the chorus that became the nation’s mantra to promote exercise, “Let me hear your body talk.” This song became all the craze as we donned spandex body suits and dreamed of becoming physically fit. Despite our efforts in 2013 the United States ranked as the second most obese nation in the world. Sadly, it seems our fitness craze amounted to mostly talk.
Yet researchers in Kinesics (the study of body movements) agree that our bodies talk through nonverbal communication. Body movements share messages about our thoughts and feelings.
“Body movements include gestures, posture, head and hand movements or whole body movements. Body movements can be used to reinforce or emphasize what a person is saying and also offer information about the emotions and attitudes of a person.”
We could not speak to each other effectively without some sort of gestures or body movements. Can you imagine how stiff and boring that conversation would be?
So it is not surprising that God designed body movements as a form of praise. Physical movements help to express our love and devotion to God. However if we are not careful these prescribed praise movements (standing, kneeling, bowing, clapping, hands lifted, and dancing, Neh. 9:3; Ps. 47;1; 63:4; 95:6; 141:2; 149:3) can become all the craze and our primary focus on worshiping God is lost. We become spiritually unfit when our main motive is to move and not to genuinely praise God with our whole heart. We become fanatics when our choice of movements is the only ones we accept or tolerate. These negative attitudes reveal we have become bloated with pride and our praise is unfit to give God glory.
Praise gives God glory (Ps. 50:23). It is not the physical movements that are most important. God desires our love and devotion. This is what keeps us spiritually fit. Let’s devote ourselves to a lifestyle of worship and get physical today.