"Guard your heart above all else,
for it is the source of life." –Proverbs 4:23
As athletes, we know we have to train hard to be any good. Everyone is more capable in one area of their sport than others. Most of sport is taken up in training, where one assesses and develops skills. We may know people whose talent seems to come effortlessly; but to be at the top, we need to exert a lot of effort. Great athletes measure their skills and work hard to improve both their strengths and weaknesses. Maybe we are strong but slow, have great hand-eye coordination but are too cautious. We have good upper-body strength but are prone to leg injuries. Athletes push themselves meticulously because they have a goal and desire to accomplish it.
The writer of Proverbs reminds us that we also need to cultivate our spiritual life diligently. Many athletes can push themselves physically, but don’t consider working out spiritually. Our spiritual life needs maintenance. In the New Testament, Paul encourages us to take a sober look at our lives to assess how we’re doing.
We need to look over our spiritual lives with the eye of a good coach and set some spiritual goals. We may have a goal to run 60 miles a week or train all the major muscle groups once a week. Goals that are not written down are merely a wish. Spiritual discipline is the same: assess how we are doing; perhaps ask a good friend or pastor for help; then write down some goals.
1. Have you assessed your spiritual health lately? How are you doing?
2. Do you have someone in your life who can help you stay accountable to your spiritual goals? If not, think of someone you can ask to help you.
Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 4:22-32
Lord, help me to enjoy the process and product of Your training. Bring people into my life who will encourage me and keep me accountable in my spiritual training. Amen.
Devotion from A Sporting Guide to Eternity by Steve Connor. Used by permission.