I was recently challenged to complete “Michael,” a Hero workout. “Michael” honors Navy Lieutenant Michael McGreevy who was killed in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. The workout involves three 800-meter runs among other things, but the runs are the most challenging part for me because…
I despise running.
Nearing the turn-around point of the third run, when I was tired, hurting, and all alone, I found myself tempted to cut the run just a little bit short. I thought to myself: “Hadn’t I done enough work already? Didn’t I deserve a break? If I turned around now, my time would be at the top of the whiteboard for sure!”
It’s in moments like this, when we’re tired, hurting, and all alone that character becomes most challenging.
I’m ashamed even to have considered cheating a workout that is designed to honor a soldier who heroically gave his life. But the truth is, having character is a constant challenge to choose suffering over sin — to choose the hard right over the easy wrong.
When you’re tired, hurting, and all alone, do you choose the hard right or the easy wrong?
Character challenges you to choose suffering over sin.
I was recently challenged by reading about Moses, a Hero of the faith. Moses had the character to choose suffering over sin. Moses chose the hard right over the easy wrong. He could have easily ignored the hardships of his people and lived the easy life in Pharaoh’s palace. But, “He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt for he was looking ahead to his great reward.” (Hebrews 11:25-26 NLT).
Character may be challenging, but it offers us a great reward. A reward that’s better than the “fleeting pleasures” that easy wrongs promise us.
So may you accept the challenge to choose suffering over sin — choose the hard right over the easy wrong in both your fitness and your faith.