Shilly-Shally Strategy

Dear friends,

I love words, don’t you?  I stumbled on a good one this morning in my tattered New Standard Dictionary of the English Language.* (Do you have an aged repository of words?  With some fragile pages missing?  Surely a treasure!)  Shilly-Shally means irresolute.  Wavering.  Inconsistent.  Would that describe your exercise program per chance?  Stop-and-start?  Irregular?  Lacking in focus or resolve?  Are we called to care for our temple in a shilly-shally way?

I know.  Distractions and temptations abound.  Which is exactly why we need to have a Success Strategy for defining our diligence.  Here are a few time-tested pillars for turning your intentions into actions:

Pray every day.  Lay the burden of your tired temple before your Lord, asking Him to provide strength and enthusiasm.  The earnest prayer of a righteous woman accomplishes much.  (James 5:16)  Do you seek the Lord for conviction, strength and discipline in your exercise regimen?  Or have you given up…?  Don’t give Satan the satisfaction!  Press on toward the prize!  In the strength of His Spirit you CAN be physically victorious!

Write down your plan.  Have you SCHEDULED your exercise throughout your week, identifying which days you walk, when you use those baby dumbbells and how many times you stand up and stretch every day?  Name it and claim it saints!  What specific moves will you do?  Don’t know?  Google it!  “Beginners strength training exercises.”  You can specify whether you want to use an elastic band, an exercise ball, or just those aggravating extra pounds against gravity.  Variety adds spice!

Recruit a buddy.  Accountability energizes, and it’s an important function of the Body of Christ.  Stir one another up to love and good deeds (and regular walks.)  (Hebrews 10:24-25)  Support and encouragement is one of the many benefits of being in a church small group.  It keeps us honest and motivated.  Have you shown your exercise plan to a friend, asking for accountability?  And I’ll bet my bottom dollar you’d be encouraging her too!

Be diligent but realistic.  Are you assuming perfection in your performance?  Do you go into a funk when you falter?  That’s called self-sabotage that Satan will surely relish.  You’re gonna mess up, gang.  You’re battling the flesh, you know.  Thanks to Brother Adam and Sister Eve we’re all prone to laziness.  So next time you exchange your fitness ball for baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the Sunday fellowship gathering, consider who won that battle.  The devil.  You didn’t get your endorphins stirred up AND you made sabotage hooks for the Body of Christ.  It’s all right.  Don’t berate yourself.  Pray Psalm 145:14 out loud: “The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.”  (At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, while you’re bowed down go ahead and do a few pushups from your knees…)  Confess your tendency toward sluggishness and sugar, then call your friend to go for a good walk.

Read my letter entitled 4 Power-full P’s for a little refresher course:

If you genuinely believe God has called you to take good care of the temple He gave you, don’t be willy-nilly or shilly-shally.  Pray with Brother David: “Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.  Incline my heart to your testimonies and not to selfish gain.  Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things (donuts and Doritos) and give me life in Your ways.”  (Psalm 119:35-37)  Then celebrate the fact you’re not reliant on will-power, but God’s power.

Live Well,



*original publication 1800 by Funk and Wagnalls Company, sold only by subscription.  Edited by 247 English, American and Canadian specialists.