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A Mental Workout

The Guideposts executive editor shares why Psalm 51 helps renew your spirit.

At the gym this morning I kept thinking of a Bible verse. 

As a lot of you know I always pray a psalm in the morning and I use an old battered pocket Bible that I’ve had for years. Keep it in my gym bag. The advantage of having an old Bible handy is that it has my scribbling and underlining in it. 

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I was reading Psalm 51 this morning and I paused over this verse, one that I had checked and starred like my old piano teacher used to do (usually when I needed to practice something!): “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” I wondered why that verse had seemed so important.

Then at the gym I was grunting and groaning under not only the weights I was lifting but a whole slew of mind-bending doubts. My confidence seemed to be at a new low and any trust I had in my abilities had sunk to a place off the psychological map. “Why do I even bother? I’m no good at anything,” I thought, and it wasn’t about my limited athletic prowess.

That’s when I started mulling over that underlined verse, spinning it around in my head as I went through the push-ups and pull downs.  I needed something to banish all the negative thinking.

You know what? It worked. I finished the workout, and my obligatory sit-ups, in a different frame of mind. Ready to go. Ready to tackle any challenges I faced. Ready to greet the day with a “clean heart” and a “right spirit within me.” The words formed a mental workout to go along with my physical one.   

Tomorrow when I look at my Bible I might add another star to that verse.

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A Grateful Heart Devotional Journal

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