By Lindsey Strickler, FAITH RXD Marketing and Media Director, average athlete, and dedicated fitness enthusiast.
Today we’re talking about a super uncomfortable topic- Sin. In our workout today, we’re going to tackle a movement that many people feel insecure about-double unders. Today is all about being uncomfortable, and being honest with ourselves and with the people around us. Have fun.
Benchmark WOD “Annie”
50-40-30-20-10 Reps for Time
Okay, so before we dive into this, we need to remember grace and relationship. These are two things that set apart Christianity from any other religion in the world. Christians and Christianity get a bad rap in the world because of all it’s “rules” and the way we’re called to “live differently.” But there’s a purpose and reason behind the way God has asked us to live. It’s momentarily uncomfortable, but eternally freeing.
What is true? Psalm 139:14 tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made; Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory; John 3:16 says that God gave his only son to die for us so that we can have eternal life; and 1 John 1:9 says that if we share our sins, God will forgive us and purify us. These truths share with us our identity and the life we get to live.
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we’re saved – done, period. This is something called justification. What comes next is a lifelong process of being transformed through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) and becoming more like Jesus (Romans 8:29-30). It’s all made possible because of the Holy Spirit at work in us and we don’t have to do it on our own strength; however, we’re given this beautiful invitation to be active participants in the process. It requires us to lay down our lives and allow God to move.
This process is as much about what we begin to choose not to do, as it is about what we begin to choose doing. Sin, it’s not something any of us like to talk about, but we have to. This is the thing that leaves us feeling trapped and enslaved. Romans 1:26-2:11 gives us a pretty exhaustive list, while also calling out anyone who would be tempted to think they’re better than someone else because of the sin that the other person struggles with. It says God shows no partiality and sees sin as sin, no matter what it is.
Galatians 5:19–21 says:
“Now the works of the flesh are evident:
fits of anger,
and things like these.
I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
There’s no way any of us can look at that list and think we’ll be found innocent. A lot of times we can get caught up in living afraid of being “found out” or “rejected.” That fear leads us to not share the things we get wrong. Or, on the flip side, we push deep into the current cultural norm of “accepting our full selves and living our truth” to justify the things in our life we know are wrong.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” We have to live with the whole truth. If we really want to live free, we need to be brave enough to see the sin in our lives and take them to God, and to a community we trust around us. It’s not from a desire to control you that God asks these things of us, but from a place of love. One of the scariest and greatest spiritual disciplines we have is confession.
It is because of love that we can live with the whole truth:
With our community.
Awareness is the first step. “When anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned. (Leviticus 5:5)” Check out that list we mentioned earlier. Which of these do you struggle with? Be honest. This isn’t about shame. This isn’t about tearing yourself apart. This is about seeing the whole picture and being honest about our sin so we can move from being aware of the whole truth about ourselves, to sharing it with God and our community.
We can live with the whole truth with God. David shares his own experience with confessing his sins to God in Psalm 32:5, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Do you know what God does with our sins? He has compassion on us, he overcomes our sin, and he throws it into the seas ( Micah 7:19). The more we confess our sins, the more God forgives and can work in us.
We can live with the whole truth in loving community. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” We cannot do this journey alone. CrossFitters know the discipline to get better starts with personal drive, but that motivation is not always there. You need the encouragement of your team, your gym, your community cheering you on and helping you see your weaknesses in order to get better. Galatians 6:1-10 gives us amazing advice on how to hold one another accountable, while also keeping a spirit of gentleness.
Now the fun part- we don’t stay here. There’s an amazing quote by Pastor Timothy Keller where he said, “God sees us as we are, loves us as we are, and accepts us as we are. But by His grace, He does not leave us where we are.” Let’s get honest. Let’s identify the destructive sin in our lives so that God can redeem and free us further.
QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL JOURNALING:
- What was the workout like for you? Did God reveal anything to you while you did it?
- Why is it hard or scary for you to get honest about the sins you battle and living honestly with yourself, God, and your community?
- What sins stood out to you? If you’re comfortable sharing, are there ones you struggling with more than others?
- What ways were you challenged by in today’s message?