Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 12 October 21:
2 Peter 1:12-15 – Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
We are called to be disciples and to make disciples, learning and teaching others to observe all that Jesus commanded. (Matthew 28:18-20) Some discipling is done by instructors – those sages on stages who teach Biblical truths to various audiences. Some discipling is done by mentors, wise, trusted advisors who offer valuable counsel from their knowledge and experience; but perhaps the most valuable discipling comes from spiritual coaches, those examples of faith who are willing to walk alongside you and guide you personally through practical spiritual application, those who are fully invested in you and are committed to being there, thick or thin.
Like professional athletes, we all need coaches who will hold us accountable but who will also feel a sense of responsibility for our success as do professional athletic coaches who get paid to produce winners. Interestingly, the better athletes become, the more and better coaching they need and receive; but as most Christians mature, they seem to get less coaching, which often produces tragic results. If you think you need less coaching in your spiritual walk, you are in danger of slipping.
“I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder….” Coaches don’t usually tell you what you don’t know; rather, they remind you of what you already know and hold you to it, spurring you on to continually exceed your current capabilities. Peter was committed to always reminding his fellow believers of the qualities they were to maintain so they would never forget and so they would continue to ‘win’ when he was no longer there to coach them.
Also, coaches make you run laps you don’t want to run so you can win the game you want to win. There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone. A good coach will challenge you to get committed, to step out in faith, to strive, to endure, to persevere and to do it with joy.
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 — 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 an 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.
Coaches can’t coach everyone. You can instruct many. You can mentor fewer, but you can coach even fewer. Coaching is personal and a big investment of time, energy and effort. Jesus had his twelve, but he particularly invested in three.
Who is coaching you spiritually, and who are you coaching? Who is on the playing field with you daily in mutually invested relationships? If you aren’t in good spiritual coaching relationships, pray that God will increase your commitment and place the right people in your life.
- Deuteronomy 6:6-9 — And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 12 October 21: Commit to coaching and being coached today.