By Jadihel Rodriguez, FAITH RXD Houma, LA Chapter Director.
Last week we talked about returning to a state of gratitude and the proper mindset “of getting to” do a workout, instead of “having to do” a workout. This time, as we head into a workout where we get to max out, our mindset should be one of strength in gratitude. While it would be great to PR, take joy in your failure if you cannot hit the lift. Look for all the other gains in your failure, such as character and hope. Do not let missing the mark steal your sense of gratitude!
21 min to establish a 1RM Snatch
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
A lack of honor and gratitude for God leads to darkened hearts, which leads to sin.
The word for “sin” in Greek translates to, “missing the mark,” and I find that so applicable to fitness and our desire to get better at fitness.
In CrossFit, we begin to miss the mark when we lose sight of being grateful for our bodies, abilities, and the wonderful gift that fitness itself is. As we start to lose gratitude for all that we have accomplished, we begin to see our hearts darkened and our perspectives on fitness change.
We are no longer content with the bodies God has given us. We are no longer satisfied with the strides we may have made. We are no longer pleased with our progress. We begin to look at what others have, what others have accomplished, and the goalposts of joy continue to move perpetually, leaving us empty at the foot of the throne of the idol of fitness.
And that’s because, as Becky Conzelman said, “Fitness is not a great god, and it will fail you.”
The same applies to our lives and the inevitable sinful nature that we are all born with. And it breaks my heart. In fact, as I write this message, I do so broken hearted. I am currently living in a season of my life where sin threatens to destroy something so dear and beloved to me.
And thus, I cannot help but go back to my early days in seminary and ask one of the most philosophical questions of all time, “Why does sin exist?”
The Bible is clear that sin came into this world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. I get that. That is not what I mean when I ask where does sin comes from. I am getting to a more microscopic dissecting of our human condition and analyzing the root of our darkened hearts.
I start my prayers every morning and every evening with thanksgiving. I pray gratitude keeps my heart and its intentions pure.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances,; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
How many times have you asked God what he wants? We do it all the time. We find ourselves lost, confused, or hurting, and we immediately want to ask God why.
And yet, there it is, plain as day. His will for us in Christ Jesus is that we rejoice and never stop praying, giving thanks in all circumstances.
Gratitude is something God wants for us, despite whatever we are walking through. Real genuine joy, despite hurting.
Romans 5:3-4 ESV
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because god’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Have you ever failed at something you wanted to succeed in?
Have you ever genuinely lost at something you worked day and night, maybe your whole life to win?
I am quickly reminded of Noah Olsen. He is an athlete that has worked his entire life tirelessly at the sport of CrossFit, even finished second, and has yet to win that coveted first place podium at the games.
I do not know Noah. I just know he is a close friend of Guido, our Executive Director. But I cannot imagine that kind of work, only to experience what some would consider loss. But I wonder, does Noah rejoice in his failure? I know I would. Not because I am better than him or better than anyone, but because God calls me to change my perspective about winning and losing. About trials and suffering.
When we suffer, we often do so out of loss, not gain. Yet what we stand to gain is so much more valuable than what has been lost endurance that produces character. The character that delivers hope, hope in Christ! And that kind of hope washes away all kinds of shame. Even the shame of sin.
Sin produces such shame. I am so ashamed of my life before I rededicated my life to Christ again in 2018. The wake of destruction that I left behind me is one that I try to forget. One that makes my stomach cringe from the shame it brings to me, my family, my wife, and everyone I have ever loved.
Yet repentance and acceptance of Christ as our Lord and Savior bestow us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which pours out God’s love over our hearts, and removes that shame.
Praise God! I am so grateful for his grace and mercy, which allow me to stand shameless in front of a holy God when the time comes!
Colossians 3:16 ESV
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
But what about the meantime Jadi? What to do in this life when we or others around us fall into sin?
The above scripture adequately prepares us for the reality that the people around us will hurt us when they sin. That you will hurt someone when you choose sin over righteousness.
But if you let the word of Christ live in you richly, you are less likely to sin. It’s no different than hydrating, eating whole foods, avoiding alcohol, and getting good sleep. You are more likely to succeed in fitness and life when you take the responsibility to put yourself in a position to succeed. In our walks with Christ, that means letting the word live in us richly.
And when our brothers and sisters stumble, admonish them. Gently and lovingly hold them accountable. If you do not know how to, go read Matthew 18, it gives you Jesus’ guidelines on just how to do so. It’s not only OK to “no rep” each other. It’s the loving thing to do.
John 8:34 ESV
“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.””
My brothers and sisters, nothing will steal your gratitude like sin. Nothing will kill your joy like sin. I beg you to fight the impossible fight. I am fully aware that we all have sinned, and we all will sin. But there is sinning, and then there is living in sin, reveling in it, chaining ourselves to it.
Do not do it. You have the power of the Holy Spirit to be free from sin. Do not be like a dog with its own vomit; return to sin.
Live in Christ, live in gratitude for the gift of eternal life. Repent of your sins and give thanks.
QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL JOURNALING:
- What was the workout like for you? Did God reveal anything to you while you did it?
- Are you currently allowing sin to rob you of being grateful? How so?
- In what ways were you challenged by in today’s message?