The FAITH portion of our workout was written by Jadi Rodriguez, FAITH RXD Interim Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors. The FITNESS portion was programmed by Anthony Davis, Games Athlete and FAITH RXD Coach.
It’s time to talk about discipline/self-control. And the truth is, few really like the notion, it’s just not what the world tells us- like, literally every day. It says to, “Do you and do it as much as you can,” “You only live once, you get one life,” “Live your best life,” you know all the cliches. So this kind of skill work requires first our complete buy-in!
The 1k represents the first book of Corinthians. Throughout the entire row, breathe and pace appropriately for the long haul. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint with discipline. It requires consistency every day and attention to detail. Focus on every leg drive, every pull, every breath. Tell yourself, I am all in!
The deadlifts are next and they are heavy! Just like your journey will require you to tackle heavy things. Grip and rip saints!
The 4 box jump-overs may not read like a big deal, but they will add up and they will catch you by surprise, much like some trials. and in the middle of a trial, sometimes God puts us through more trials, and we must grip and rip again. Grip hard to His Word!
Finally, the pull-ups are that final push, a trial that gets easier towards the end when we see the light.
Stay strong and finish with a run. As Paul said, run the race towards the prize that is Jesus and Christ-likeness!
1,000 Meter Row Buy-In
2 Deadlifts (315/225)
4 Burpee Box Jump-Overs
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we are imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments,” was something I used to say to motivate my students in my decade-long tenure as a college professor.
While that is something I still think reads like a motivational quote, it’s not something that motivates me anymore. And it’s not how I would ask you to seek the motivation to be disciplined. There is a much more biblical lens.
Temperance is another word for discipline. It is the word that Paul uses to describe the self-control that is produced by the Spirit. And it is the very sort of fruit that demonstrates the edification that should motivate you to exercise discipline.
If you are reading this, there is a 99% chance that you understand discipline. After all, FAITH RXD is a faith and fitness ministry and there is no shortage of understanding of just how much discipline is required by athletes.
Heck, it’s right there for us in the scripture! Paul actually compares our spiritual disciple with that discipline of an athlete!
So how does he liken the two?
It might surprise you, but Paul does not separate the body from the soul. Too often the church makes the mistake of reducing our bodies as just empty vessels for our souls, when in fact our bodies do matter! God created our bodies, and the stewardship of our bodies has a significant impact on our spiritual and mental health! This is actually one of my personal desires for FAITH RXD in the future, that we go into our churches and preach the doctrine of fitness. That is, the belief that fitness to steward the temple, is something that is ordained by God! And in the above scripture, Paul actually writes about disciplining his body, so that he may exercise self-control.
In his book Every Body Matters, Gary Thomas writes:
The ancients (early church fathers) believed gluttony and sloth weaken us and make us more vulnerable to other sis, particularly lust.
Gary is referencing, and I agree, how the little things that we do in stewarding our bodies, such as working out and eating right, can help us in our perpetual battle with other sins, in particular sexual lust.
It should come as no surprise either should it?
How many times have you heard it said that a better fitness routine can make you a better student? A more productive employee? A more patient parent?
Then does it not stand to reason that the same is true with our walk with Christ? If you can show self-control with what you eat, and consistently choose to wake up early to go to the gym or go through the routine of packing your gym bag for after work, then it too can begin to spill over towards other things that impact our walk. Things such as sexual purity, anger, the language we use, and the entertainment that we partake in.
Proverbs 25:16 ESV
“If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.”
No such thing as too much of a good thing right? Wrong! How many more times am I going to say it this season? The Kingdom of Heaven is upside down. While the world tells you to indulge and indulge if it is good, scripture tells us otherwise.
And I’m not just talking about gluttony, I am talking about all kinds of things. Money, sports, relationships, education, work. All these things are good, but too much filling with them can lead to idolatry.
The fact of the matter is that temperance is not just refraining from sin, it’s also about proper prioritization of God over the good things so that we do not allow the enemy to turn what is good into evil in our lives.
This kind of self-control is going to require a ton of discipline. But most of all, it is going to require that you find contentment in all circumstances. After all, we already have all we need on the cross and the grace of God which through faith gives us everlasting life!
1 Timothy 6:6 ESV
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
And there it is. What I was trying to say, but better. For it is not my wisdom, but God’s that best articulates the sentiment.
Saints, a baby Christian understands that refraining from things in the world that we know is bad is essential to the Christian life. But it takes a tempered, mature Christian to understand that too much of a good thing is dangerous.
Think of it from a fitness and nutrition standpoint. Imagine overtraining without rest. You would defeat the purpose of weightlifting to build muscle. You would run the risk of injury. In the end, it could ultimately lead to the end of your fitness journey and goals. Yikes!
The same could be true of a nutritional plan that is too rigid. Cutting out all carbs or not allowing you to enjoy sweets. Sure you could probably find a season of success, but crash dieting is not sustainable for a reason.
Just because it works, just because it is good for you, does not mean it is to be overly indulged in.
I believe framing the skill of discipline in this fashion, leads us to a better understanding of how to strengthen our walk with Christ and seek holiness.
Yes, discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. The concept remains the same, it’s the goals that have changed. I just wish to become more Christ-like.
QUESTIONS FOR GROUP DISCUSSION OR PERSONAL JOURNALING:
- How was the workout for you? Did it reveal something unexpected to you, either mentally, physically, or spiritually?
- What are some ways that physical discipline in the gym has translated to discipline in your walk?
- What are some sins that you can confess that you struggle with? What are some weaknesses in your walk that you can be more temperament with?
- On the same token, what are those dangerous good things in your life that could become idolatrous? Where do you lack contentment in your life? What are some blessings you can recently recount that perhaps you have not given attention to because you are busy looking back or looking forward? What new goals of sanctification can you now list?