Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Your Couch May Kill You"

Matthew 7.21 NLT

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

I am in dangerously close proximity to an instrument of my own death. It’s not a gun. I do not own a gun. Neither is it the kitchen knife, poisonous pills, or a lethal injection. Yet, the cause of my death may be closer than I think. According to Trice Whitefield, senior analyst for the Center for Consumer Freedom in Washington, D.C., I am actually sitting on the apparatus that could kill me… my couch!

“The growing epidemic of physical inactivity and its related disease are such a significant problem that U.S. doctors have coined a new term: Sedentary Death Syndrome. As the third leading cause of death, it claims the lives of 250,000 Americans each year. Basically, your couch is more likely to kill you than either a stroke or an accident.”[1]
I am active mentally, but much of my cerebral activity takes place on my family room recliner. I read my Bible, write, email, blog, make phone calls, plan my day, compose letters, watch videos, entertain guests, and talk with my family, all from this sacred Mecca for the seat. I would rather be on my couch than just about any other place in this world. The only other single place I spend more time is my bed. Couple that fact with the hours each week I sit behind the wheel in my car or in front of a computer at the office and I am a candidate for Sedentary Death Syndrome. I couldn’t say I wasn’t warned. Even my sofa’s label sounds perilous to my health… Lazy Boy®. No false advertising there!

Jesus gave the same notice. I found His warning label this morning in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 7. Apparently, it takes more than spiritual talk to get you to heaven. It takes spiritual activity. You’ve got to “actually dosomething...

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”

I can talk from the comfort of my beloved Lazy Boy®, but I cannot feed the hungry, meet a stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick, or touch a prisoner from a reclined position. There is a difference between shaking a hand and entering a chat room, between serving food at a local shelter and sending an on-line check to a favorite charity. For some hard words on this subject review Matthew 25.41-43. Jesus makes faith-filled action, not half-hearted words or cheap talk, the criteria for entrance into “the Kingdom of Heaven”.

If comfort, security, and predictability are most important to me, then I will die spiritually. I understand my eternal destiny is secured by faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for my sins. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1.12). I further understand that my faith in Christ is proven real when I take action to get up and do what He says.

“Anyone who doesnt breathe is dead, and
faith that doesnt do anything is just as dead!
James 2.26 CEV

Sedentary Death Syndrome is both a physical and a spiritual threat.

[1] “A Healthy Diet Doesn’t Mean You Are: Food isn’t the be-all – you can be killed by your couch”, Trice Whitefield, The Sunday Oregonian, January 6, 2008, section E, page 5.

The painting of the girl asleep on a sofa is by Rick Beerhorst. Check out and purchase his amazing work at http://studiobeerhorst.com.

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