I used to go to the gym regularly back in my TCU days. You see, you had to go through it to get to the room with the ping pong tables. On my way through, I couldn’t help but notice the grunting sweat factories of men watching themselves popping veins in the mirrored walls. I often wondered, “What do they think about as they watch themselves work out?”
So one day I tried it. I went over to some light dumbells and started doing curls. “One, two . . . fifteen,” I counted to myself. Surely they weren’t just working out as an excuse to practice counting, so I tried again “ . . . Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this? Why am I doing this?” No, that probably wasn’t what they were thinking either. But that was all I had, so as I walked back toward the ping pong room I tried to pay attention without getting caught looking at them or misunderstood in my curious interest.
“Man I look good.” “She’ll be impressed.” “I’m going to be the strongest man in the WORLD!” Or “Just in case I ever have to lift a car off a mechanic.” What people think when they work out I may never know.
But in relation to a church working out for the betterment of our individual and communal spirit, the endurance for hard times, the strength to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and lift each other up - Paul has some advice for what we’re thinking in the repetitions as we look in the mirror. And it’s not, “Man we look good,” “God will be so impressed,” “We’re going to be the most amazing church in the WORLD!” or “Just in case I have to save someone’s soul.”
It’s the same he gave the Philippians in chapter 4 verse 8: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
So, bring your strengths, bring your weaknesses and let’s continue this exercise of being God’s Gym members. See you at the water fountain.
Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.