I am so excited to have interviewed pastor, consultant, and speaker, Rev. Michael Vinson on a presentation he had originally present as a keynote speaker at Montreat Camp and Conference Center.The topic, maintaining your spiritual health, is something we can all benefit from.
Just as you need to maintain physical fitness, you need to nourish and exercise your spirit. The Apostle Paul spoke about the need for and the value of training in godliness. My guest, Rev. Michael Vinson, in today’s podcast breaks down the nourishment of your spirit into three easy-to-apply inputs you need every day. If you are overly busy and thinking, “I can’t even nourish my body properly, let alone my spirit.” then you will be delighted to discover that everything Michael shares can be done by adapting common place activities that you do everyday like showering or enjoying a meal.
Similarly, Michael will share three “outputs” you need daily to exercise your spirit. Essentially, he is handing you a formula to make sure you get the spiritual equivalent of an upper body, lower body, and cardio workout everyday. Fortunately, his workout is all gain with little or no pain.
Lastly, you do not want to miss Mike’s quick tip on spiritually detoxing. He is going to tell you how to regularly get rid of the “dust bunnies” that are trying to pollute your mind and spirit everyday. Well, what are you waiting for? If you are feeling like a spiritual coach potato who has grown flabby around the middle, here is help. Start working off that soul fat.
Just as we physically need air, water, and food to nourish our bodies we also need certain inputs to be spiritually well-nourished. There are at least three inputs we can spiritually benefit from: peace, spirit and love.
Michael spoke about the need to breath in peace several times a day. He spoke about how vital it is to take a few deep breathes and imagine the peace of God filling you. This is a simple thing you can do while doing other things like driving, fixing your breakfast or getting dressed in the morning.
Michael associated focusing on the cleansing of your spirit with times when you encounter water during the day. Just as we physically need cleansing, we spiritually need cleansing as well. When you take a shower, wash your hands, or drink a glass of water you can use those actions as a trigger to reflect on God’s cleansing of you. You may want to use that moment to call to mind your baptism and how God washes away your sins.
Just as we eat foods to nourish our body, we need to engage in activities that we love and appreciate to replenish ourselves spiritually. For this activity we have many choices. We can worship, spend time with a friend, take a long walk or maybe play an instrument. What are the activities that you love that replenish you spiritual? What spiritual gifts do you have? Engaging in activities that are rooted in the spiritual gift God has given you can be a great way to replenish your spirit.
Just as their are inputs that we need there are also outputs. We feed our bodies to gain nourishment, but we also exercise to maintain our health. The outputs that we should work on that are associated with peace, spirit, and love are respectively: justice, kindness, and humility.
Michael defined justice as, “sharing until your neighbor is safe.” In other words, do what you have to do to make sure the world is a safe and fair place for everyone. Actively work for the well-being of those around you so that they can experience peace in their lives. Biblically, peace is far more wholistic than we tend to think. Peace encompasses freedom from conflict, physical security and an active sense of well-being. Striving for justice is an attempt to make sure everyone has that kind of peace.
When you reflect on God cleansing you, then you become more fully aware of your sinful nature and the need for God’s grace. Recipients of grace become gracious people. You exercise the grace you have received by extending it to others in kindness. In do so they have an opportunity to experience grace.
People who are humble in Michael’s words are “comfortable in their own skins.” They do not have to prove something to feel respected or valued. They have a fair assessment of their own value and limitations. They do not need to assert themselves to feel loved or valued.
When you pair up each of these inputs with outputs there is a space created for certain things to emerge.
- Peace => Justice => Safety
- Spirit => Kindness => Nurture
- Love => Humility => Empowerment/Strength
Michael explains this more fully in the interview. I encourage you to listen to it, if you haven’t already. You can click on the embedded player below to hear it now.
One last tidbit that Michael shared was how to eliminate what he called the “dust bunnies” of you soul. Throughout the day their are odds and ends of events that might provoke fear or anger in you. That fear or anger even if very slight becomes dirt that you need to get rid of before other things begin to accumulate on it. When Michael experiences moments of anger or fear in his day. He will through prayer verbally toss those things out. He may say a quick prayer like, “Fear and anger I cast you out.” It is important to address these feelings immediately before they grow in to larger problems.
My two cents worth…
I really loved several aspects about what Michael had to share.
- You can add much of what Michael recommends to your life without adding a minute to your day. He gives some very practical ways to seamlessly weave reflection upon God into the norms of daily life.
- When I consider the importance of maintaining certain inputs and outputs, that lead to certain results I am reminded of Phillipians 4:8-9, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
- Michael makes it easy to be consistent by pairing the inputs with physical actions or realities we run into each day, i.e. breathing, washing, and eating. A wonderful example of using triggers in a powerful way.
To Contact Michael Vinson…
I hope to have Michael back sometime for another interview. If you are interested in contacting Michael as a consultant for your church or to learn more about his ministry visit his website.