I work out several times a week, mostly in classes. I am there to burn calories, get toned, work on my form and flexibility, build muscle and bone, and challenge myself. I get into beast mode. I’m no iron maiden, but I don’t have time to be cute, demand attention, just show up or show off, or go through the motions.
Invariably, I will see people there whom I assume just want attention. Everyone can tell because they aren’t even trying to do what the instructor tells the class to do. We go up; they wait for it and go down. Instructor says keep your arms at a 90-degree angle; they flap their arms like a bird.
Sometimes they are doing something completely different than what the class is doing, and which has no relevance, is not even a recovery move or an alternative, to the current exercise. One time 2 girls stopped and started doing what we used to call fire hydrants (a floor exercise) during a rigorous cardio mixed martial arts class. Maybe they had a bet or something.
The ones who are new, but serious, about their workouts are actually trying to do what the instructors say. They fall in line and learn correct form. Oftentimes the instructors will come around and coach them individually on their form so they can do better next time. I applaud them.
When you keep doing a particular exercise carelessly and with poor form, you will receive the minimum benefit from your workout. You won’t build any endurance, and you won’t build as much bone or muscle density. You may risk injuring yourself both now and later. You may be training your body to acquire poor posture. You might even start becoming uncoordinated as you work against the natural moves put together by sports scientists and confuse your muscles, making them do the opposite of what they are supposed to do. I’ve seen that happen.
I think to myself that I will get the maximum benefit from my own workout because I focus on my form and the reason why I’m there. Distractions become obstacles to make me stronger.
Single person claiming to be Christ’s: are you getting the maximum or minimum benefit from Christianity?
If you’re being religious and just show up to church without participating, go through the motions, demand attention, and don’t obey the Master Instructor, you’re missing it. You’re getting the minimum benefit from God’s common grace.
If you have a real relationship with the Master Instructor, Jesus Christ, if you are sincerely and deliberately leaning into that relationship and identity, you’re getting it. If you seek God’s attention through humility and obedience, if you’re growing in godly character and love, if you’re becoming more sensitive to God’s promptings in direction or not sinning, you are getting the maximum benefit from a genuine faith.
Man invented false, shallow, empty religion apart from God. There is only temporary, shallow, external benefit from following false religion. Changes occur behaviorally and externally. Attempts to please God through empty religion and sacrifices are an abject waste of time, since we cannot please God in the flesh; 1 Sam. 15:22–23 and Romans 8:5–8. Jesus said, of that crowd, “truly, they have their reward” (Matt. 6:2).
Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. 1 Timothy 1:5 NKJV
True spirituality originated from the God of the universe. It causes changes in character, attitude, motive, and purpose, not just words and behavior. He changes people from the inside out.
He doesn’t always reward “good behavior” immediately the way we think He should. However, He does bless His children differently and more abundantly than He does the unbeliever. No good deed goes unnoticed by Him unless you’re trying to bribe Him to accept your sin.
Nothing, not even failure, is wasted in God’s economy when you belong to Him.
Whether or not you go to the gym for the best reasons, you don’t have to waste your precious time spiritually, my single friend. You can absolutely get the maximum benefit from a relationship with the living God.
To determine if you are getting the maximum benefit of having a relationship with God, clarify the status of that relationship by asking yourself the following basic questions:
–What is a true Christian?
–Am I actually a Christian?
–Why am I a Christian?
–How did I become a Christian?
–What changed in me in the weeks after I became a Christian?
–What has changed in me in the last few weeks?
–What is the evidence that I belong to God and I am a true Christian?
Christian single, are you getting the minimum or the maximum benefit from your faith?
Next week, I scheduled not just one, but two guest posts, separate testimonies, from a dynamic powerhouse couple who loves ministering to singles on Face Book and locally, in southern California. Please come back next Sunday for the first of two back-to-back (Sunday & special posting Monday!) testimonies from this beautiful couple who loves singles just like us.