In an effort to get healthy, my husband and I recently joined a gym. For many years of my adult life I have had a gym membership, but this habit had gone by the wayside in my 40s. As my body started aching more and the post-partum weight hung around (never you mind that I'm almost seven years post-partum!), I decided to humble myself and get accountable at a gym. The slogan at our particular gym is "Fitness For All". The words are emblazoned on the windows and the walls. Last night, as I was strengthening my tired triceps, I glanced around at the other people there. Everyone was either 25 or freakishly toned for their advanced age. Feeling insecure, I reassured myself with the slogan. If "For All" is what this gym really meant, then that "For All" included a woman approaching 50 with less-than-average tone and strength. I persisted despite my self-doubt knowing that what I was doing was good for my body. What's my alternative? Quit, like so many other times before?
I wonder if women ever feel this same way, though, at church or in Christian circles? Do we realize that Christ is "For All" whom the Father gives to Him? Or do we begin to disqualify ourselves as we look around at those 'Christian heavyweights'--you know, the women who have memorized huge chunks of the Bible or those who just always seem to obey or the ones who serve before you've even figured out there was a need? Do we wallow in self-doubt and stop attending Bible study or rarely come to church? Do we 'quit'?
This is a real problem, I know. This happens when we take our eyes off of the truth and the purpose, or calling, on our lives. When we stop exercising our faith and begin looking around and...comparing ourselves with others. Ugh.
We must set our minds on Christ and lay aside everything that hinders us so we will run with endurance the race set before us. We do this by looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and not by looking around at others. Others may certainly be encouragers and spur us onto good works, but if we are stumbling instead, then we must re-align our eyes on Christ and persevere to the end.
Keep your purpose ever before you as the apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 4:1.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Glorify the Lord in your walk with Christ. Obey when it's hard; work that "faith muscle" when you want to give up. Keep your eyes fixed on Him.