GeneroCity Prayer Week blog from Pastor Caleb
An article written by Pastor Caleb Skinner:
Have you ever had that “thing”, whatever it is, that you know you are suppose to do, but it is just so unattractive to you that it seems almost impossible to do? Everything that is in you knows it is the right thing to do, but because you don’t fully understand it, don’t see how it benefits you, or something doesn’t seem sane about it, you can’t bring yourself to put a priority on it.
For years and years of my life, that was my view on exercise. Everything in me told me I needed to be doing it. The scale always told me the truth, no matter how hard I tried to avoid it. My recliner gently tried to tell me through gentle creeks and moans that I was slowly compressing it into submission! Even the doctors tried to tell me that I would need to be on medicine for the rest of my life because I couldn’t put my fork down and pick up a dumbbell. Regardless of all the pictures I saw of happy people smiling on the beach, I could not place a priority on me being one of those people. I was content. At least that’s what I thought.
Contentment is a good thing. Paul even told us we should be content with where we are and what we have. So why get off the couch and do anything about how I looked and how I felt? I was happy with me, right? Well, I learned really quickly as I seriously took a solid self assessment of my physical health, that I was not happy, I was not healthy, and I was not content. I was lazy. Plain and simple, lazy.
Here is the kicker; it is so easy to pick and choose who we want to be and what we want to do without really considering what we may be doing to ourselves. That is until you look in the mirror one day and you get real honest with yourself and you realize the person YOU were trying to build is not the person you were meant to be.
This story is NOT about exercise and losing weight, but it is how God has began to teach me about the spiritual fitness in my life. The reality is, sometimes I am stinking lazy! Lazy, lazy, lazy! And the person that I look at from time to time in the “spiritual” mirror is not at all who I was designed to be.
When I find myself at that place, I take myself back to the basics. What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? How do I be more like who He is? What’s at it’s core? Then it’s time to hit the treadmill, and train myself to be more like Christ.
At the very core of who He is, is the attitude of sacrifice. Sacrifice motivated by love.
He loves so much that He is willing to give Himself away for us. Have you looked at you lately? I’ve looked at me! Be honest with me, did you see something so beautiful that the God of the universe should be willing to sacrifice anything, especially His Son, for us? But He loves like that. Because He loves like that, He gives like that too. He gives everything, no holds barred. He’s all in, so to speak, just for you.
It’s funny to me, that in that moment that I look into my spiritual mirror, I tend to see someone much less willing to give than He is. I’m suppose to be like Him; that’s what he’s called me to, but I don’t give like that. Not like Him. Because I don’t give like Him, I realize that I don’t love like Him either. Guess what…lazy.
I don’t want to speak for my brothers and sisters in Christ, but I think that if we take a real self assessment and look at where we stand when it comes to being like the one who saved us, we can all find plenty of room to improve. I think for me and many others, we simply don’t give like he gives. I’m not talking about just money here, I’m talking about the attitude that sent Christ to the cross so we could live. Will we “take up our cross and follow him” as He suggests? Would we give ourself to His will to accomplish what He has sent us to do, so that others may have life? It’s not about money, it’s about everything! We must realize that our time, talents, resources, and relationships are not ours, they’re His! For us to refuse to do with His things what He wants is to simply steal them from Him. How can we continue to justify that?
It’s time to shape up! So here is what I am suggesting; let’s take an honest look in the mirror and ask ourselves real questions. Do we give like Him, and do we love like Him? Join me by strapping on the running shoes and doing something about it. Here’s the reality, Christ can do whatever He wants with whatever we give. It’s that simple. However, if we are obedient to what He calls us to do, if we give like Him, if we love like him, He will use us to change the world! That means you, your kids, your family, your neighbors, your friends. And you can realize it began with what He did in you. No pain no gain!