I Wonder How Far My Inner Man Can Run?

shoes and watchI’ve sort of given up my pursuit of completing a marathon anytime in the near future. I’ve been swamped, and my running has tailed off this summer. So yesterday’s run was a pleasant surprise: overcast skies, seventy-two degrees, a slight breeze, an mp3 player filled with sermons and music and a little company for part of the time helped me complete a run of eighteen miles! That’s one mile more than my previous best!

The run reminds me of some valuable conversations I’ve been having with my daughters lately. We’ve been discussing internal vs. external beauty from texts like Proverbs 31:30 and I Peter 3:1-4. I keep reminding them that inner beauty is far more important and enduring than outer beauty, and I’ve been pointing them to their mother as an example of both.

I Timothy 4:7-8 makes the same point with different imagery that is especially applicable to “Dad.” Physical exercise in I Timothy 4 may be compared to physical beauty in I Peter 3. There’s nothing wrong with either, and they may even be helpful for a time. However, adorning the hidden man of the heart (I Peter 3:4) and exercising the inner man for the purpose of godliness (I Timothy 4:8) are far more important endeavors.

Though we probably agree in principle that spiritual health and beauty are more important than physical, I wonder if that priority is demonstrate in every-day life? How much time, effort and money do we spend on our corruptible bodies? How much of the same do we spend on our incorruptible souls? In other words, what does your spiritual hair look like? How far can your inner man run? And what are you doing about it?

Something to think about.

__________

Quick rabbit trail: The song “Holy Is He,” sung by Sherry Oliver Trainer on the now unavailable recording His Way Is Perfect, thrilled my heart anew yesterday while I was running. That’s no small task after 16 miles! I’m grateful to have the recording & hope it will be available again soon.

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6 Responses

  1. I appreciate your commitment to both physical health as well as spiritual.

    18 Miles – You da man!

    Joel

  2. Chris,

    Guys like you and I have to focus on our inner beauty. It is all we got.

    I am praying for your serices today. May our Great Lord be glorified.

    Andrew

  3. Hey, buddy. Thank you for your prayers. By God’s grace, we had a tremendous morning. God is doing some really exciting things here. Are you guys started yet?

    In my studies this afternoon I came across another text that makes the same point we’ve considered, albeit a bit more harshly:

    “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.” (Proverbs 11:22)

    I don’t think we’re damaging the intent of the text to make it “gender neutral.” Ouch.

  4. If you can run 18 miles, you can run a marathon. So go do it!

  5. Hey, Austin. I’m thinking I will. September 30th in Akron. I want to do it before I “fatten up” over the winter. Anyway, I’ll probably be in touch. :)

    BTW, you know the tips you gave me? I should have taken them. (ouch)

  6. […] Chris, of My Two Cents, asks this question: I Wonder How Far My Inner Man Can Run? We’ve [my daughters and I] been discussing internal vs. external beauty from texts like Proverbs 31:30 and I Peter 3:1-4. I keep reminding them that inner beauty is far more important and enduring than outer beauty, and I’ve been pointing them to their mother as an example of both. […]

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