Spiritual Fitbit3 min read

I have still not made the adjustment to using my cell phone to regularly answer the question, “What time is it?” I still like to look at the watch on my wrist to get the answer. So when my faithful old watch broke, I was at a bit of a loss—until my daughter said, “Dad, you’d like a Fitbit!

Now, I have seen this innocent-looking black band on a few people’s wrists. They encouraged me that it was much more than a watch and very easy to adapt into your daily routine. My online research led to a trip to the store, which culminated in a new black Charger HR occupying rent-free space on my left wrist. My insurance company even reimbursed me for part of my purchase!

The first day, my Fitbit reminded me when I needed to walk, recorded my heartrate, and measured calories burned versus calories eaten if I gave it accurate information. When synced with my iPad, it gave me feedback on a variety of issues and held me accountable to trying to be healthier in my daily approach to life. It encouraged me to make better decisions about a myriad of issues and then let me know I could not argue with the results or misinterpret them. It held me accountable to steps walked, distance walked, steps climbed, and a whole bunch of other key ingredients to help a 61-year-old in pursuit of a healthier future. It held me accountable!

After talking with my friend Sue Palka, I let my internal Thomas Edison free as I raced to develop a Fitbit for our spiritual life. Wouldn’t it be great if the LCMS and I invented a device that, by the position of my knees, could tell me how much time I spent in conversation with my God? If by measuring my heart it could determine my motives and if they were Christ-pleasing or me-pleasing? This device could examine my spending habits to see where my concern for others was; it would measure my words to determine if I was adhering to the eighth Commandment; it would send me messages about praying more, thinking better, avoiding certain jokes and conversations, and vibrate to encourage me when I acted like those great leaders found in the biblical accounts.

The words of Psalm 27:17 jolted me from my dreams of self-satisfaction and profound riches. They reminded me my invention was not going to be my pathway to a financially secure retirement because God had already created an accountability partner—other Christians. The Psalmist wrote, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” God desires us to be in relationships and have conversations where we honestly reflect on our spiritual life and growth. God desires that I be truthful with others about my failings and His success in my spiritual journey. He reminds me that those great leaders in the biblical accounts shared many traits with me and other believers, the biggest being they were sinners and, just like me, needed Jesus to make them pure in God’s sight. We together share a responsibility to talk not only about the Tigers’ playoff chances, but also about our spiritual journey with our brothers and sisters in Christ. These are often not as easy as looking at my wrist but instead remind me to look at Christ, especially His nail-pierced hands, and remind my friends, colleagues and others that those hands desire to hold us for eternity. I hope you enjoy your opportunity to sharpen those you love in the future.

From Monday, January 23, to Friday, January 27, 2017, we will be publishing one devotion and one blog each day in celebration of Lutheran Schools Week. Look for the devotion on the blog at 5 a.m., and be fed by God’s Word as you begin your day. Blogs will be published at noon. If you are not yet signed up to receive the blog in your inbox, you can do so here.

Photo (c) franckreporter/iStock

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About the Author

Dr. Bruce Braun, emeritus, served many years as Superintendent of Schools for the Michigan District, LCMS.

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