The following is related to an earlier devotional post on “balance” (wholeness) in our faith and following of Jesus. If you’re not familiar with this series, you may want to review some of the foundational articles and videos on W.A.I.T. training and specific posts on “form“.
There are 24 such subjects on this website. You can use the search function to read the devotionals and related Scriptures, view training videos, and even watch contemporary Christian music videos on the same subjects. Simply place your smartphone or tablet on the reading deck of your favorite cardio equipment in the gym, or prop it up in a safe place as you and a friend exercise at home, or even project it onto a smart TV through wifi or bluetooth for larger groups.
I offer the applications below and others only as examples of how you might physically express spiritual principles. They are not magical formulas or guarantees. Neither are they substitutes for God’s call to gather with other believers for worship in a local church, to study His Word and pray privately, to fellowship with other Christians throughout the week, or to serve the hurting and lost.
In the metaphor of physical fitness, consider this series as a “supplement” for your spiritual health. I do believe, however, that these articles and related video which simultaneously feed our spiritual, physical, and relational health can be very practical. After all, the Lord created each of us as a body with a spirit for relationships. And remember, always consult a physician before beginning any new exercise program.
Suggested applications for meditation on “form”:
This may be one of the most crucial and challenging of all the principles because many of us get defensive with “I know how to do this”, and we flip on our auto-pilot. But consider a very familiar chapter in the Bible that calls us to watch our form.
Even many non-Christians are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13, the Love chapter. There wasn’t a lot of love among the Corinthians. The context of chapters 11-14 reveals that they were bragging or complaining over the greatest spiritual gifts and who had them. Paul called them to watch their form: how they exercised the Body of Christ. Reread those chapters and see for yourself. As we workout, how we exercise is crucial because we‟re also building our spirit of faith, fear, or pride.
When you workout, slow down enough to listen to your body. For example, are you trying to work beyond your present ability? If “leaning forward in the saddle” is your M.O. in the gym, you may be pushing some of your relationships, too. You may need to scale back a little before you run your body and relationships into the ground and reverse any progress! But if your M.O. is to hold back and only do what you can do well, maybe you’re also holding back in your relationships. If so, pray for courage to express your love with more initiative. You will probably meet opposition, but if you‟re holding back to avoid conflict then personal peace can keep you stagnant.
How we do some things is probably how we do most things because how we live reveals and expresses our spirit. Instead of “performing‟ a rep every second or running like a bat out of hell (pun intended), slow down enough to notice your spirit. If we rush workouts and don‟t take time to notice our form, there‟s a good chance that we‟re rushing our relationships and not watching our form there, either. If we rock bicep curls, bounce bench presses, or only extend our arms partially in order to move more weight, we’re neglecting our stabilizer muscles and increasing our chances of injury. If this is one of our M.O.s, we may be trying to move “heavy‟ things in our life while neglecting the more subtle things God has entrusted to us: a little time, money, kindness, etc. It’s tempting to use only our best. Give all of you, and watch your form. Gains are not as important as how we get there. “Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.” (Proverbs 16:8)
And work with your partners to exercise proper form and the spiritual truths that form represents. Your group should give everyone the complete freedom to Watch and Accept the physical realities of each other’s form at any time. Our human nature is to present our work as the basis for acceptance in relationships. But this same reality of fear and pride is an opportunity to Invest in repentance in front of the Body of Christ by using the exercise in proper form and less showmanship to visibly express your new attitude and
response in front of them. Then Team with them to accept their forgiveness and fellowship through the grace that lives in them because of Jesus’ re-forming each of you in His image!
Remember to Watch, Accept, Invest, and Team regarding the wonderful things in each other’s form, too. For example, “I noticed that you’re remembering not to lock your knees when you stretch. That keeps the blood flowing to the parts of your body. Connection through the blood of Jesus is vital in His Body, isn’t it!” or “You’re doing a great job of working a full range of motion, even when you have to lower the intensity a little. What Scriptures remind you of the importance of proper form?” Then talk about and live out truths of the passage(s).
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