By Jadihel Rodriguez, FAITH RXD Houma, LA Chapter Director.
Welcome to my favorite series so far: gratitude!
Our mindset when we approach this workout should be one of thanksgiving. One where we switch from, “Having to do something,” to, “Get to do something.” There are countless folks out there who do not have the privilege of getting to do fitness. Do you have the wrong attitude about your workouts? Do you have a complaining spirit in and out of the gym? Focus on smiling.
I have heard it said before that it hurts less if you smile, but I think it glorifies God more if we smile. If you’re not feeling it, just keep repeating to yourself, “I’m grateful I get to do this. I’m grateful I can do this.”
7 squat cleans
13 ring muscle-ups
7 squat cleans
13 ring muscle-ups
600 m run
Colossians 2:6-7 ESV
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
I know what many of you that I have met are probably thinking, “Praise God, it’s gratitude (not sure if you see what I did there), we will be spared of the doctrinal lecture! Surely, gratitude is not doctrinal, right?”
I am a one-trick pony- Sorry, It’s just who I am. When it comes to the spirituality of all our members, even more so. So sit back and get ready to learn how, in other words, it is impossible to be grateful when our doctrine is out of balance. If you don’t know what “doctrine” means, it’s a belief or set of beliefs.
The opposite of gratitude is complaint, and complaining ultimately casts blame on God for your dissatisfaction with His plan.
When we are not grateful, what we are saying is that we believe we could do a better job. This may be minutia at the gym or at work. Maybe even at home. But when we say that about our lives, we say that we should be God because we could do a better job.
You may not realize it, but when we complain, we are making idols of ourselves.
Ephesians 1:11 ESV
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will”
Did you catch all of that? “According to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”
Everything happens for a reason, people say. Even the world recognizes that nothing is ever without purpose- but let’s be specific. God wills things according to the counsel of no one but himself.
God is in control of everything! He literally holds life in His hands. As one of my favorite songs says, it’s His breath in our lungs. It’s when we begin to doubt this simple doctrinal principle of God’s sovereignty that we turn to complaining or moping around about our circumstances.
And listen, I am guilty of it too. I am not preaching from high ground here. I too catch myself in the depths of sin questioning the all-mighty creator as to His sovereignty.
The audacity of our sinful idolatry nature to complain or question why things happen why they do. It’s no wonder the first commandment warns about worshiping any other god, for we are quick to make gods of ourselves.
So what’s the key? How is this practical?
It’s why I love our message today so much, “As we received Christ Jesus, so walk in Him.”
It’s that simple folks. The more you walk with Christ, the more grateful you will be. The more you will see His faithfulness and beautiful sovereignty.
Here are four enemies of gratitude that we fight, and that get in the way, when we walk with Christ more closely.
Romans 6:23 ESV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Entitlement is forgetting our place in the story of Christ. It says, “I think I deserve something, and I want it now!”
In case no one has, let me break it down for you: You do not want what you deserve.
Our wages. What you have earned. What I have earned. What we have earned. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 says.
Listen, this is not me saying you do not want what you deserve. This is God!
Contrary to what some false teachers teach, God did not come to die so that you may prosper and be healed of all disease. God humbled himself and manifested himself human so that grace, through faith, may save you and me.
Entitlement is not only forgetting who we are in the grand scheme of things. It neglects what you realized the day you were saved. “In that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8.
I am so grateful for that!
1 John 5:14 ESV
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
Expectations are directly correlated to hope, and our hope should be in God’s will for us.
Again, despite what many false teachers out there teach, you are not going to get whatever you pray for if you just have enough faith. I laugh at the silliness of that thought. It runs rampant amongst Christians that have fallen for the wolves in sheep clothing, teaching that God is a genie.
It’s not only false doctrine. It actually is heartbreaking. For it leads to a lifetime of hurting and disappointment. It’s no different than showing up at the gym expecting to PR because you believe you will.
It’s funny how that is easy for us to understand, yet what is good for the goose, is not for the gander, when it comes to God’s sovereignty.
James 3:16 ESV
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”
The truth is we are all selfish. The key is to try to be as selfless as possible. Selfishness takes the focus from God and puts it on ourselves. What a gratitude killer!
Ever been to a CrossFit Open workout and seen someone PR? The way the community celebrates? Yea, that’s my favorite. I love seeing so many people, even if for a brief moment, forget about themselves and rejoice in the happiness of others.
Scripture warns us over and over of a selfish spirit. And I get it. It’s hard not to think about ourselves when we are hurting. But praise God in those moments and watch yourself forget about yourself and remember your God.
Proverbs 16:18 ESV
“Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Probably one of the world’s most quoted scripture. I am often amazed by how often the world and nonbelievers actually can quote scripture. It’s that deep. And it’s not something that will be contested often.
I have seen pride destroy gyms, friendships, marriages, relationships with parents, careers. I cannot think of many things that are more destructive than pride.
Have you ever been too proud to scale a workout? Oof, that hurt, didn’t it? Guilty as charged here.
I am often reminded of my fitness journey and when I made the most significant strides. Leaps and jumps in my progress. My coach Tara Ramos in 2017-2018, suggested I go back to the roots of my CrossFit journey. “Do you remember when you were not too proud to scale to get better? That’s how you got better.” I took that to heart and went back to the start. Much like our message, I went back to the beginning.
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord…”
Do you remember your humility the moment you met Christ?
I’d like to think that’s what Paul was trying to get at here. Remember where you came from. Remember what He saved you from. You won’t help but to smile and give thanks.
It hurts less when you smile.
QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL JOURNALING:
- What was the workout like for you? Did God reveal anything to you while you did it?
- Jadi shared four enemies to gratitude, what did you think of them? Is there one in particular that you struggle the most with?
- In what ways were you challenged by in today’s message?