Two weeks ago I mentioned I needed to continue exercising my leg if I expected the muscle strength to improve. And I was. Until I wasn’t.
I didn’t stop exercising intentionally. It just happened. Slowly, I began backing off from how often and how much time I invested in strengthening my muscles. The effects of not exercising as much as I needed weren’t immediate. At first, I ignored the renewed stiffness and pain. When I couldn’t ignore it any longer, or rationalize it as just a momentarily fluke, I admitted I slacked off from doing what I should do. Exercise.
I told myself I reached an acceptable level of improvement, but I hadn’t. There is still work to be done.
Sometimes I believe we treat our spiritual strengthening the same way. We read our Bibles, study, pray, meet weekly with fellow believers. It’s all good. Then life happens.
We pull back a little from how often and how intensely we read our Bible and pray. We skip meeting regularly, and the more times we skip church, the easier it becomes to stop going altogether.
The results are subtle at first. A little stiffness here. A little ache there. Until one day, we try to walk and end up limping. Our spiritual muscles have weakened. We aren’t as strong as we thought we were. We need to get back into the routine of daily exercise; daily Bible reading and studying, and drawing close to God.
Yeah. Not being farther along in my physical rehab is frustrating. Not being able to walk without needing to remember how it’s supposed to be done is frustrating. Having to deliberately take the time and make the effort to reach the ultimate goal is frustrating.
But you know what? Just as putting in the necessary effort to develop my leg muscles is more than worth it, so is developing a right relationship with God.
Even more so, wouldn’t you say?
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But do not follow foolish stories that disagree with God’s truth, but train yourself to serve God. Training your body helps you in some ways, but serving God helps you in every way by bringing you blessings in this life and in the future life, too. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NCV)
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