Eliminating Your Subtle Aggressions Against Your Body

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of The Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies.

—1Co 6:19-20

Subtle: Challenging (or difficult) to understand or perceive.

—Webster’s

Aggressions: Hostile or destructive behaviors or attitudes.

—Webster’s

All of us sin.

How much, though, do we consider the subtle aggressions we perpetrate (or sins we commit) each day (usually over and over) against our own bodies (and, ultimately, God)? These aggressions, which can sometimes be difficult to identify, produce a cumulative, negative effect. Look at beaches. One wave crashing upon a shore may exert little effect upon the beach landscape. Multiply that by millions upon millions of crashing waves over many centuries, and the beach will look considerably different. The Scriptures read, “It’s the little foxes that ruin the vineyards” [SS 2:15]. Little things, repeated over and over again, can create significant, long-term effects. This applies to both positive and negative things.
Provided below are a few of the “little foxes” you could work at eliminating (or just keeping at a distance) from your life. Pick two or three from the list below, and, over the next month or so, work diligently (and prayerfully) to exterminate them from your life. In the list, you’ll notice after each behavior I’ve identified an opposite behavior you could do to flush-out the old one. I’ve found it a lot easier to eliminate a bad habit by replacing it with a good one.

Consuming denatured food. Eat real food—especially green leafy plants and sprouts.

Not getting enough sleep (basically, the combination of staying up too late the night before and then trying to get up early the next morning). Go to bed a half hour earlier than you “normally” would.

Using stimulants (caffeine) or depressants (alcohol) or both. Drink water (or herbal tea or fruit juice).

Not flossing after you brush your teeth. Floss at least twice a day.

Slouching. Stand-up/sit-up straight, and lift your head and shoulders joyfully. (Smiling also helps!)

Sitting too much. Squat for five minutes a day by doing it in 30 second increments. (That means 10 sets, for 30 seconds, every day.)

Not moving enough. Move A LOT. Do whatever you can to change your posture and move healthily more often.

Not walking enough. Walk at least a mile every day.

Not warming-up prior to engaging in rigorous exercise. Create a five-minute warm-up routine for yourself and then always perform it before doing anything physically rigorous. Make warming-up a part of the culture of your exercise life.

Overtraining. Learn to train compassionately. Do research on this and pray about such things.

Not using proper form during exercise. For every movement (including exercise) you like to perform, research the proper form for its execution, and then follow what you’ve learned.

Using harsh cleaning products (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, laundry detergent, carpet and fabric fresheners, surface cleaning agents, etc.). Use only natural products.

Drinking unfiltered water from the faucet. Drink filtered (or bottled water) or consider purchasing or renting a semi-portable water system. Water from a faucet is typically unfit for human consumption. It also has a chemical taste. (That may be one of the reasons why you’ve not been drinking enough water.) Consider adding, too, minerals to your water. I use OmniBlue ocean minerals, which I purchase on Amazon.

Not drinking enough water. Drink water all the time. See previous “habit.” (Note: This is the third time I’ve mentioned drinking water in this essay. Yep, it’s pretty important!)

Baking in the sun. From 930a to 230p every day (from April 1st through early October 1st), enjoy the shade. Consider, too, taking a Vitamin D3 supplement.

Not spending enough time outside in nature. Go hiking in the woods.

Stifling your feelings (your pain, disappointments, fear, frustrations, traumas, and anger). Journal and pray through such things. Share with a friend what you’ve been feeling. Express gratefulness toward God and others whenever you can.

MRL Maxim: It’s a lot easier to eliminate a bad habit by replacing it with a good one.

MRL Call-to-Action: Pick two or three of the subtle aggressions in the list above, and, over the next month or so, work diligently (and prayerfully) to exterminate them from your life.