1 Corinthians 14:40, “But everything should be done in the right way and in good order."
There is a workout program called INSANITY. It was created by fitness trainer and motivator, Shaun T, who works for the fitness platform BeachBody. I am currently participating in this 60-day high intensity training. A close friend of mine would say that “Insanity” is not holy and there’s no way this type of fitness is from the Lord. It is tough, I’ll admit, but I enjoy it!
Shaun T is an excellent coach with a “powerful motivation style”. During the workout, he is very intentional in giving tips and advice so we stay safe. He stresses how important it is to not compromise our form; the specific way of performing a movement or exercise.
He says, “Form over speed equals results. Slow it down if your form starts to suffer. You can do 100 push-ups poorly and hurt yourself, or you can do 10 push-ups the right way and get results.”
God revealed to me that we often have this same behavior when it comes to our faith. We pursue speed over form throughout our spiritual walks. We find ourselves rushing to get through projects or assignments, cut-short a conversation with someone in order to get to the next thing, or trade in our morning devotional time because we’re running late for work. Our quick-pace lifestyle has us missing important details and opportunities due to our laziness, selfishness, and improper “form”.
We let our spiritual fatigue determine the quality of our work. We see fatigue as a sign of weakness; thus we must not stop. We have to prove we can get through it and meet certain expectations that will then validate our spiritual success. When our physical bodies are fatigued, we should take breaks. Rest. We drink water and breathe. Who made it unacceptable for Christans to pause and be still in response to spiritual fatigue?
As a fitness expert, Shaun T understands what can happen if we push beyond our physical limits or push through without water breaks. He encourages us to rest or reminds us to breathe. Can this be the same instruction God gives us?
At some point, our efforts become means of perfectionism and not efforts of excellence. Joseph, Jacob’s son, was a man of excellence. He led with a spirit of excellence. From the pit to the palace, he encountered various types of fatigue and struggle; spiritual, physical, mental and emotional. But his pace was not set on his own agenda or the expectations of the world. His pace, form, and the quality of work was based on his faithfulness and dependence on God. Joseph’s ability to serve with a spirit of excellence was the key to his promotion; in Potiphar’s household, the prison, and ultimately, the promotion to Pharaoh's right hand man.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, (AMP)
The way you serve determines your progress and your promotion. If we are physically compromising proper form, it will lead to injury, and injuries can hinder your progress. The same with our spiritual health. For Joseph, he never compromised form over speed; not even when he was in pain or when he was promoted. His heart posture was always positioned to please God.
What is the posture of your heart as you serve God? Do you give more attention to the quantity of hours you spend with Him versus the quality of the time spent? Are you operating in a spirit of excellence or a spirit of perfectionism? Is your pace following the speed Jesus has set for you or the pace you’ve determined to be best?
Friends, if you don’t have proper “spiritual form”, you will be prone to “spiritual injury”. A spirit of perfectionism will, ironically and eventually, lead to third-rate quality. I challenge you to take an assessment of the way you “workout” for Jesus. Let’s not rush the pace of our divine exercises or half-do our spiritual fitness. Let’s ensure that the quantity of God’s work through us, represents the quality of who He is.
Written by: Ashley K. Stovall