Do you have good posture? Well, before you answer that question, we should define posture. According to the dictionary, “Posture: Noun. The position of the body in movement or at rest.” Actually, believe it or not, your posture is critical. In can be good or bad. According to the American Chiropractic Association, “Good posture helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.” With that in mind, whether they knew how critical it was, my parents watched my posture. In fact, when I was growing up, I remember my parents, grandparents and teachers telling me to sit up straight. They’d even say, “don’t slouch” or “pull those shoulder back.” When I took a typing class in high school, keyboarding class for those who aren’t familiar with a typewriter, my teacher insisted on good posture. She’d say, “feet flat on the floor and sit up straight with your shoulders back.” Of course, I’d routinely cross my ankles and lean back and that always brought a tap on the shoulder or thump on the head to remind me to sit up straight.
If you think my parents and teachers were strict about posture, that was nothing compared to what I encountered in military training. The instructors were strict about posture whether it was sitting, walking or marching. For that matter, I’m surprised they didn’t check our posture when we were sleeping. After all, you can’t look sharp with bad posture. Can you imagine members of the military marching in parade slouched over as if they were tired, hurting or even defeated? No. That doesn’t present the correct image does it? Yes, that’s right. Posture isn’t just a health issue; it is also an image issue. With that said, as you are likely aware, the military must present an image of confidence, crispness, neatness, attention to detail, strength, readiness and willing desire. For that matter, I think you’d agree that your posture reflects on you as a person even if you’re not in the military. Good posture just seems to reflect a positive attitude and attentiveness regardless of the circumstances.
Now that we’ve established the importance of physical posture, let’s discuss what it means to have good spiritual posture. By the way, the dictionary also defines posture as, “A mental or spiritual attitude.” Our spiritual attitude or posture can best be understood by examining the way we think which, in turn, is reflected by our attitude and actions. You might say, thinking right leads to acting right. Let me expand this by saying, think right based on the word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit, and your attitude and actions will be in step with the Holy Spirit. But notice, it’s more than just positive thinking and determination.
How do we think right based on the Word of God? As Paul writes in Romans, we must renew our mind. Why does it need to be renewed? As people who have a sinful nature, our mindset is naturally hostile toward the authority of God. Therefore, it needs to be renewed. However, our mind can only be renewed by the Word of God. RO 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. This impacts our spiritual posture so read carefully. If you want to be transformed, experience a metamorphosis, by the renewing of your mind, you have to put in the work of reading, meditating, memorizing, studying and worshipping immersed in the Word of God. Why so much emphasis on the Word of God? 2 TIM 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Speaking of thinking right, take notice that our desires take on the nature of the way we think and feel. The flesh produces one kind of desires, and the Spirit produces another kind, and they are opposed to each other. Paul explains this in his letter to the Galatians. GAL 5:16 “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” So how do we “walk in the Spirit?” As Dr. John Piper explains, “This means that “walking by the Spirit” is not something we do in order to get the Spirit’s help, but rather, just as the phrase implies, it is something we do by the enablement of the Spirit.” You might think of it this way: The Holy Spirit produces in us a desire for God’s will and ways that are stronger than our fleshly desires, and consequently the Spirit causes us to walk in obedience to God. In case you missed it. We utterly need the Holy Spirit’s help.
So then, do you have good posture? This time I mean a good spiritual attitude. In other words, does your posture reflect thoughts, desires and actions based on the Word of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit? Remember, when we think right based on the Word of God, Spirit led actions will follow. As such, your attitude and actions will reflect what Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia, GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
I think we should sit up straight. I also think we should walk with our shoulders back and our head up. My parents and teachers were right to teach good posture. But, in the scheme of things, our attention to posture should be focused on the spiritual instead of the physical. Slouched shoulders can reflect a poor image, but a bad spiritual posture echoes a rebellious mindset that needs correction. In this case, not a tap on the shoulder or a thump on the head but repentance and a renewal of the mind only possible through the power of God’s Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
A Work in Progress,