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Posted: February 28, 2013 8:34 p.m.

McCoy: A spiritual check-up

"Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves?"

1 Corinthians 6:19 (Common English Bible)

Last week, I went to the doctor for my annual physical examination — my check-up. Now, getting a physical is not the most pleasant thing to do, and while I certainly could think of better ways to spend my day, I get an annual physical for several different reasons. It’s important for me to have that accountability for keeping myself in shape. But most of all, I get a physical because I love God, my family and myself, and I know it’s the best way that I can take care of my family — by taking care of myself. And while I may go to the doctor throughout the year for little problems or specific issues, I know that once a year, I’m going to get a thorough "going over." It’s kind of like taking your car into the shop for a full check and tune up.

When we go to church, we go through a different kind of check-up: a spiritual check-up. When was the last time you really had a spiritual check-up? The Apostle Paul reminds us that our bodies are God’s temple, and that while we shouldn’t be obsessive about our looks, we should take care of our bodies so that we can be the healthy hands and feet of Christ in the world — the physical bodies that God’s Spirit works through to do God’s good work in the world. We have to keep our bodies running well so that we can do the things we love to do for ourselves, our families, our church, and for God.

At the beginning of the year, we think of great ways to make ourselves better people, and then we make resolutions to make that happen. Well, it’s the first of March. How are you doing on those resolutions? One of my resolutions is to grow spiritually by reading the Bible every day, and as I sit and look at my reading schedule, I have to admit that sometimes it slips through the cracks. I love to spend time in God’s word, but sometimes life gets busy, and before I know it, it has been two or three day, or longer, since I spent any quality time with God. So I give myself a spiritual check-up every now and then to keep myself in good spiritual shape. Here’s a little check-up list that you may find helpful:

• Begin by setting aside a time to be alone with God every day. Set an alarm on your cell phone to remind you that you have an appointment — the most important one of the day — and don’t break it!

• Grab a pencil and a prayer journal or a note pad on your smartphone to jot down things that God puts on your heart.

• Begin with prayer. Open your mind to the Lord and clear your mind of the clutter of the day.

• Write down prayer requests in your journal to keep your mind free and clear. This way, you won’t forget to pray for someone or something, but it won’t be the first thing on your mind.

• Start by telling the Lord just how grateful you are to spend time in meditation and prayer.

Remember that our relationship with the Lord is the firm foundation for all other relationships. If this one is not right, chances are the others won’t be either.

• When you pray for something, open your mind to God’s answers rather than seeking approval for your own answers. Good communication in any relationship involves listening as well as talking.

• Don’t forget to be thankful. God loves to hear our praises and thanks (read the Psalms if you don’t believe me).

Don’t put it off — have your spiritual check-up today. You can start anew today, and you will be amazed at the ways God will speak in your life as you grow in the love of the Lord.

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at jan.mccoy@ngumc.net or at covingtonfirst.org.

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