Friday, January 30, 2009

Trying or Training

This week in our small group Bible Study, we watched a video featuring John Ortberg. The Bible Study is a six week series focused on Spiritual Growth. This week's topic was the role of the Holy Spirit, and the role that we play in Spiritual Growth. One point Ortberg made in the video has stuck with me the last several days. The point was so simple, yet thought provoking at the same time. He simply said that we so often "try" to live the right way. We "try" to do the right thing. We "try" to quit our bad habits. The problem is, we usually let ourselves down. Our "trying" ends up in failure most of the time. So, what do most Christians do? They quit trying. Better to not try and not have to suffer the guilt of repeated failure. But, as Ortberg stated, the better plan is to "train". Training is quite different than trying. Our trying always has good intentions. When we first start out trying, we usually mean it. Ask anyone that has ever made a New Year's Resolution. They had all the best intentions, but eventually their trying ran out. They failed - again. That is where training comes in. Training takes a longer approach. Training involves a goal. Training recognizes that we are not there yet, and it is going to take many steps. So, for me, I'm looking at some training. I want to treat my spiritual growth much like an athlete treats their preparation. This requires each day making good, disciplined choices. Sometimes I'll do better than other times. Somedays I will read more and pray more. But, underneath all of this, I am training. Hopefully, in time, my training will pay off, and I will be able to endure better. Much like an athlete gets stronger and has to stretch themselve further with more distance or more weight, I hope to do the same. This will take daily commitment and discipline to my spiritual training.


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