We have all seen those fitness shows, where a trainer challenges the trainee to push themselves harder than they might push themselves. Usually there are tears, blood, crying and sweat. The irony with fitness trainers and the training they provide is you usually pay to get mistreated.
My fitness trainer doesn’t do all the screaming and prodding you usually see trainers do… but sometimes I could use it. My fitness trainer knows me better than almost anyone else in the world, with the exception of my wife, and should know by now that he ought to push me even harder. He knows me so well because I raised him, he’s my son Ronnie. He is very fit and well trained, and could be, and has even been asked to be, a fitness trainer. Perhaps his downfall is, though he is well trained and experienced, and even a good role model of fitness… he’s just a little too kind.
I don’t know about you, but someone pushing me hard, challenging me by yelling in my face might make me push harder to lose the weight and gain the strength, is probably what I need.
But in life, people don’t respond well to that kind of aggression, yelling and screaming. But there are many who get the job done thoroughly, but kindly. Those people, like Ronnie have a gift for motivating good habits and behavior.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: Ephesians 4:11-13
Paul challenged the Ephesians to “equip” the saints, that is, to bring Believers to a place of “fit”ness, not unlike the example mentioned previously. Truly, most Believers have yet to achieve a place of spiritual fit-ness, in fact most aren’t even trying. Spiritually speaking, there are no blood, sweat, or tears in our workout to spiritual growth. This is why we all need a little help, help from those with giftedness to help us, challenge us, maybe even push us along.
This is exactly why He gifted certain people with special, Spiritual gifts, that can help us achieve certain results. Paul explains that the fitness Believers are to undergo, is so that they can carry out God’s desire to see each Believer (saint) skilled in carrying out the work of the ministry, literally “deaconing”, so that the Body of Christ, the church, would be strong and unified in their faith.
God’s desire is that we mature in our faith, fully develop, not be out of shape, but fit, coming closer and closer to the design of maturity displayed in Christ.
It’s time for us as Believers to put more effort, whether as trainers or trainees, into our Spiritual fitness. Not skipping workouts or avoiding them altogether, but to get into the gym and set goals for our faith “fit”-ness that are going to cause some tears, sweat, and maybe even a little blood. Maybe we need to ask the hard question, “when’s the last time I had aches and pains Spiritually?”
Dr. Ronald J. Barnes Jr.
President / CEO
January 24, 2022