It has been my goal for many years to work out 4 times a week. I accomplished this at LA Fitness for quite a few years. It closed down at the beginning of the pandemic and I started running on the street instead. While I was a regular at LA Fitness, I learned some interesting and valuable things.
At times I found myself observing people who are exercising. I am sure there are more than four kinds, but here are four I observed:
1. Those who don’t have a clue…don’t get it. These are the men and women who wander from one piece of equipment to the next; not exactly sure what they need to work on or what the equipment is supposed to do. The next time they come in, the routine can vary, but there is still no purpose or direction in mind. They don’t achieve much progress.
2. Those with a “Game Plan.” Some actually carry around a note pad keeping track of how they are doing so they can rejoice in progress being made. They have that, I-am-on-a-mission look in their eye.
3. Those with a trainer (you can spot them as all trainers wear blue T-shirts) following closely behind. These serious people have come to the conclusion that they need a personal coach to help them reach their desired goals.
4. Those joining others who are serious; desiring the support and encouragement of fellow travelers; the more the better. They are exercising in the water as a group, doing yoga as a group, riding stationary bikes as a group, playing basketball as a group.
If truth be known, we could all use more consistent physical exercise, but more importantly we could all use more spiritual exercise. 1 Timothy 4:7, 8 says, “…train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
1. 1 Timothy 4:8 doesn’t say physical training (exercise) is of no value, but of some value (compared to spiritual training).
2. Spiritual training is strongly encouraged here as well as in other New Testament passages such as I Corinthians 9:24-27.
3. Some followers of Jesus think that “Spiritual Disciplines” (spiritual training) are confining or legalistic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Working out spiritually is liberating and frees me up to reach my full potential in Jesus thereby making my unique contribution to His plan and purpose. Admittedly it’s hard and takes time, but the results are well worth the effort.
Back to the four groups at LA Fitness.
I see a direct correlation.
1. There are people attempting to grow in their walk with Jesus who don’t have a clue on how to experience spiritual growth; no plan, no direction, no idea, no drawing on the grace and power available in Jesus.
2. Many have thought through, prayed, read and have developed their own “personal growth plan.” They are on mission for, and with, Jesus and are serious.
3. People with a solid and workable “personal growth plan” are often people who have availed themselves of others to do it with, and have at least one person (a coach) to hold them accountable to do what they believe God wants them to do
SO, WHERE ARE YOU IN ALL OF THIS?
Are you growing in the Grace and knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18), or walking around without a clue; frustrated and stagnated in your walk with Jesus? Are you trying to do it all by yourself, or traveling with others? As we start 2022, it’s a good time to ask yourself what your plan is to grow spiritually in the new year. Get as specific as you can. Generalities generally don’t work.
As usual, I would love to have you comment on this post and tell me what you think.