I read this past week that of the Americans who own a pair of running shoes, 87% don’t run. That isn’t surprising … it’s true of me! On the side of my
shoes it reads, “NIKE RUNNING” but I’ve never ran in these shoes.
I also read that 58 million Americans have a gym membership. That isn’t surprising either … the parking lot of the gym close to my house is usually overflowing with cars. But of those who are members of a gym, 67% of those people never use their memberships! Now you know why memberships are so cheap … more than half the people paying for them never set foot in the door.
I suppose owning running shoes and not running, or being a member of a gym and never going, is akin to owning a bible and not reading it. Or knowing the good news of the gospel but not sharing it. Or being a member of CBC but not really being involved in the life of the church.
Owning running shoes doesn’t make me a runner and having a gym membership doesn’t mean I’m physically fit. I must put the shoes on and run before I gain the benefit of running. I must go to the gym and workout before I gain the advantage of having a membership.
In the same
way I must exercise the discipline of reading my Bible in order to profit from it. Bible ownership alone only makes me look good to others, but it doesn’t aid in my spiritual growth.
And it doesn’t stop with bible reading. The same principle applies to other spiritual disciplines as well … prayer, fasting, solitude, Scripture meditation and memorization, journaling, etc.
When Paul told Timothy to discipline himself for the purpose of godliness, he was calling him to a life of setting priorities so he might develop and maintain a sound spiritual life. The Spirit calls us to the same.
In 2017 to what will you say “no” to say “yes” to being nourished by the Word of God? It will require discipline and training but the good news is the Spirit is on your side!
Footnote for December 11, 2016