• 66°

Listen to God and he will free you from sin’s sorrow

By REV. JAMES SCARBOROUGH

Donalsonville Assembly of God

Even though I am not an athletic person, I am convinced that scheduled exercise is good for the body, so I have included it in my weekly routine for the past twenty years.

My personal exercise of choice — an early morning 30-minute brisk walk — requires no expensive specialized equipment; just time, effort, and commitment. I cannot say that it has given me an appearance that sports magazine editors dream about having on the front of their most recent and widely circulated issue, but I still believe it has been beneficial to me physically and emotionally (and spiritually too, since my walking time is also prayer time).

There is one basic component that I cannot do without in my walking routine: sturdy and comfortable shoes. They serve as my essential buffer between my feet and the asphalt.

Not long ago I purchased a new pair of walking shoes distributed by a company that lays claim to a comfort enhancing product. They have such high confidence in their line of shoes that they have included “Dr.” as part of the name.

When a box has “Personal Trainers” in large letters imprinted on it, and a statement in more than one language to declare “Aids in absorbing shock” and the invitation to “Experience outrageous comfort throughout the day”, the shoes within must be a fine product.

I was convinced, so I bought a pair. On the first walk with my new “Personal Trainers” I felt some discomfort in my feet on the first lap, but I kept going. When I got to the house and took them off, I discovered that what I had to look forward to that day was not “outrageous comfort throughout the day” as the shoebox promised, but quite the opposite, due to a sizeable layer of hide having been worn off the back of my right heel!

The shoes are not defective, and after they are properly broken in, they will probably live up to their claims of comfort. My primary mistake with those shoes was ignoring pain — my warning that something was amiss — when I first sensed it.

Our modern mentality tells us to take a pill to make all pain go away, but if we fail to investigate why there is pain, we can be masking over something that might have serious consequences down the road if not properly dealt with.

Just as ignoring physical pain can be detrimental, so can overlooking spiritual uneasiness. God pricks our hearts when we slip into sinful practices and lifestyles that cause us to drift away from Him. Failure to pay attention to what He is saying results in spiritual train wreck. To prevent such an outcome, God’s Word instructs us to turn away from our sins in repentance. II Corinthians 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death” (New International Version).

If I had simply paid attention to the pain in my foot and took appropriate action immediately, it would have spared me from further discomfort. If you will listen with a repentant heart to what God is saying to you about what displeases Him in your life, He will guide you to where He wants you to be spiritually and release you from the sorrow that sin brings.