Thursday, January 31, 2013
Athlete parallels, part 4 of 5
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown… 1 Corinthians 9:25
The Greek words that make up the phrase goes into strict training literally translates into “to have complete control (of oneself)”, meaning that the Corinthian athlete’s aim is to master his entire body, not just the individual parts he needs for the particular event.
A runner’s body is made up of more than just his legs. Even though other portions are not active during the race, keeping them strong can make the race easier on the legs. Core and shoulder exercises ensure good running posture, which in turn allows the legs to be more efficient. Strengthening hip flexors, hamstrings, foot/ankle tendons prevent nagging little injuries that will keep a runner side-lined or limited.
What kind of supporting exercises can a Christian do?
Outside of God’s Word, the biggest support a Christian has is other Christians. Being around them individually or in group settings help us relax, be encouraged, and be able to give encouragement. Also, these meetings/gatherings/hanging out times provide a forum to ask questions (get some coaching?) or even role-play answering other questions that we face. If someone asks me about my faith, do I know my answer…or is it a bunch of mumbled “ums” and “wells”?
…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect 1 Peter 3:15
The gentleness and respect will only come after I am sure of my answer, and I can be sure of my answer if I prepare ahead of time – through study, understanding, and practice.
Without the support and encouragement from fellow Christians, we can also stumble on side issues, and it’s harder to distinguish between fighting for the goal and fighting through entanglements. We maintain focus when we meet together.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
We need this.