Good Shape Takes Work

June 28, 2019


We all like to be in good shape, but it takes work. You gotta move something, lift something. And sadly, lifting a cheeseburger to your mouth doesn’t count. At some point, you’ll have to eat a veggie or two, and I’m not talking about french fries.

A few years ago, I took the plunge and bought a gym membership. You’ll find me there, three days a week, trying not to be intimidated by big guys with muscles in places where I don’t even have places. When I was a teenager I dropped barbells on my nose. No joke. So you’ll find me working out cautiously.

A muscle-bound guy named Mike worked out at the gym. Mike yelled, grunted, dropped weights on the floor, strutted around the gym, admiring himself in the mirror. One day, Mike came in carrying a boom box. He cranked up his headbanger music and climbed on the treadmill. When asked to turn down his music, he just laughed and sped up. As he thundered along, he decided to take off his sweater in mid-sprint. He pulled the sweatshirt over his head. It stayed there. Blinded, Mike lost his balance, then shot off the treadmill and crashed through a wall, crushing his boombox. Thankfully, Mike lived through this little adventure. The only injuries were to the wall, the boom box, and Mike’s overinflated ego.

You know, I’ve had some Mike moments. Like the day my nose met that barbell. Talk about crunches! My hyper-inflated pride was punctured. And it’s not such a bad thing. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”

What does humble look like? Well, here are three indicators that we’re moving in the right direction on the humility treadmill:

  1. Criticism doesn’t devastate us. In fact, it’s an opportunity to evaluate, to change if necessary.
  2. We rejoice with those who rejoice. A friend gets engaged or promoted, we rejoice.
  3. We take an active interest in others.

Humble people don’t walk around speaking in hushed tones with their heads held low. No, they are joyful encouragers, even at the gym where they say things like, “C’mon you can do it. Just one more lap. Here, you need some strength. Eat this piece of broccoli.”

Speaking of broccoli, a friend was telling me about his struggles to lose weight. “I eat too much,” he admitted. Then he laughed and said, “If you are what you eat, then I need to eat a skinny person.”

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