My training as a vocalist has caused me to be more aware of my posture. There are times when I think I’m standing up straight – until I actively correct my posture and instantly gain a few inches in height! As soon as I straighten up my posture, I feel an immediate physical improvement. However, because my body is not used to having correct posture on a regular basis, maintaining this position can be difficult. In fact, it often feels like slouching is more comfortable than keeping a straight posture. Because of this, I have to correct my posture multiple times throughout the day. Maintaining good posture requires discipline, can feel painful but is ultimately good for me. Often, what we think requires medication or care from a chiropractor or physical therapist can actually be fixed by actively working on maintaining good posture.
I wonder if this is why biblical references to righteousness use various forms of the term “walk upright.” Just like maintaining good posture, walking upright in the biblical sense requires that we are constantly checking and correcting ourselves. If we don’t do spiritual posture checks, we may end up walking around in a comfortable – yet sinful – slouch, while thinking that our posture is perfect. And just like there are some physical issues that require us to do something (vs. seeking medical intervention), there are some spiritual issues that a pastor or spiritual director can’t fix for us. Sometimes, we know the issue and what we need to do to address it, but it’s so much more comfortable to slouch. But in the end, both physically and spiritually, heeding the call to walk upright will save us a great deal of pain and suffering.
So stand up straight!