Challenge and Change

Good morning!  The gym I infrequent is big into surrounding its members with motivational input.  Walls are adorned with posters of active, happy, well-toned humans, music reverberates with pulse-quickening rhythms from exercise rooms, and high visibility signage offers words that inspire…

One sign in particular got me thinking recently about parallels between physical health and spiritual growth.  It tops this list of similar phrases:

“What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you!”
“If it doesn’t stretch you, it doesn’t strengthen you!”
“No pain, no gain!” “Know pain, know gain!”

Common theme:  For positive change to occur in our lives, challengestretching, and some pain is absolutely necessary!  While this is true for muscular strength, cardio-vascular efficiency, coordination, and general physical well-being, does it apply to faith and spiritual growth?

The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”  It is an essential aspect of cultivating an active, real-world, faith relationship with the Eternal, Triune God who reveals himself as Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit!  Trusting and walking in the unshakeable love of God in Jesus brings much more than internal comfort and peace.  It brings a loving foundation and indwelling means to challenge and change the self-centered status quo that can plague and even enslaving our lives.  Then as we go forward with Jesus, making a positive difference in every relationship and responsibility we are blessed with!

So, the next time…

Talking to God seems like a waste of time

Helping someone isn’t on your To Do List

Doing the right thing seems to offer little benefit

Forgivingloving, or showing compassion feels weak

Gathering & worshipping with others costs you

Asking God to forgive and help you feels humiliating

Giving of your time, talent, or treasure seems risky

Embrace the challenge, trusting God for and looking forward to the change! Remember…  long before NIKE’s slogan, Jesus said, “Just Do It!