The following is related to an earlier devotional post on “training”: show me, teach me, and stick with me . 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 “training”.
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 “training”:
When you’re looking for a trainer (or whether or not to accept someone’s offer to train you), look around the track or gym. There are probably people that you recognize from church, chapel, Bible study, etc. Their physique may immediately tell you if they know how to take train their own body and are committed to the process. But stop and watch them interact with others (if they do) and how they talk with their workout partners. This will give you an idea of whether they know how to train their soul and are committed to that process.
When they’re giving instructions to the other person, are they really training the person, not only in how to care for their body but also in why certain principles are significant? Are they clear, direct and persistent but also compassionate when talking to others? Do they really listen to their partners, or do they seem to feel the need to be right all of the time? Do they take the time needed to get it right, or do they seem to rush the other person so they can to whatever is next on their agenda?
You won’t find a perfect trainer, but you can find someone who is committed to building the whole person because they are traveling that journey themselves. It may sound like a “duh” statement, but trainers who only focus on part of you might do so because they only focus on part of themselves. They can’t give you what they don’t have, whether that is insight, patience, or experience. Look for a whole person if you want to grow as a whole person. Even if they are a hard-body in the gym, if they are soft-headed or hard-hearted those qualities could rub off on you, too. All of us tend to emulate the people that we respect. So we have to be careful with whom we surround ourselves. In 2 Timothy 2:2, we see that Paul knew that he was under the microscope, and he instructed Timothy to train other men in integrity, too. Training is about much more than information. It’s about godly application.
And even when you begin working with someone to train you, you won’t always feel receptive to their guidance. Sinful fear will tell you that admitting ignorance is a foolish confession of weakness. To that I encourage you to rejoice in your Lord’s example of humility. Jesus not only humbled Himself by coming to live in human flesh, if you look at Luke 2:52 in context you’ll see that He allowed Himself to be trained by human parents and learned from them. Amazing!
Even if they don’t seem to have any new facts or techniques to train, you can still benefit from their perspective on things that you already ‘know’. I remember being very satisfied in my understanding of bench pressing – until someone explained the benefit of occasionally using dumbbells to exercise my stabilizer muscles. I also remember ‘knowing’ that I should not run more than once or twice a week because of my back and knees – until someone asked me if had considered using the stationary bike, stair-climber or other cardio machines. I had been narrow-mindedly focused on running as the only form of cardio. Humbling your heart will open your mind.
Chances are, rather than working with a trainer who can mentor you in all things body and soul, you’ll find that a good workout partner will train you in some things and you’ll train them in other things. In Galatians 6:6, the Apostle Paul said that the person who is taught the Word must share all good things with the one who teaches. As I understand that verse, it means that even the older teacher can learn from the younger student and the younger student has an obligation to ‘school’ their teacher for the greater good of the Body of Christ.
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