Have you ever been disappointed? You expected to do something or get something that you never got? You gave your best but things didn’t turn out as you hoped?
Of course, you have. Everyone knows the dismay of disappointment. That’s why this Christian Character Trait matters so much. It is a trait we need to bear the weights and blows of life: FLEXIBILITY.
Things often do not go as we expect or hope…but we don’t need to let those things break us or even bend us out of shape. We need the strength to be flexible and this verse is the key to spiritual flexibility:
Set your mind on things above not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
What we choose to think about determines our strength and flexibility! If our eyes are not focused on eternal truths of God, we will be rigid and unbending. We’ll be hurt and we’ll hurt others. We want to have the trait of flexibility so we can stand up in the weighty times of life!
In our physical bodies, muscle flexibility is a desirable companion to muscle strength. All muscles work in pairs – biceps & triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings and so on. When one of the pair is used more than the others two different types of weakness happens. The unused muscle is flabby weak and fails to stabilize its partner muscle. Joint damage is a common outcome. The other weakness will be in the ‘strong’ muscle. That muscle will be tight and vulnerable to tears and injuries. A lack of flexibility creates discomfort and damage. Spiritually the same truth can be seen.
Rigid, unbending faith that puts God in a box is a weak faith. It is a demanding faith that places great strain on self and others. Faith is the substance of things NOT seen. Faith without flexibility is not faith it all—it rests on what has been experienced, what one can do, what is known as ‘fact’ — there is no room for a supernatural God. God never violates His character as revealed in the Bible but He is bigger than any of us. The Word reminds us no one knows a matter fully. There is always more to discover about God; He doesn’t fit in any box we can create! Growing the muscle of faith requires balance between discipline and discipleship. We must do all we know to do and seek to know God more!
Do you remember when Jesus confronted the Pharisees? They were religious people who had gone from believing God to believing that good work was the way to God. The Pharisees even bullied others to be like them but Jesus said they had missed more important things than what they were doing: justice, mercy and faithfulness. The Pharisees were strong in small things but their ‘faith muscle’ was tight and weak. They were trusting in themselves and not God!
Hebrews reminds us that the only way to please God is FAITH! Faith is a muscle that becomes weak and tense when it is not used. We use our faith muscle when we trust God for greater things than we can do in our strength. Real faith takes us beyond our ‘boxes’ and our comfort zones. Strong faith in God is the road to an abundant life that changes the world! Faith makes us flexible enough to take the hits of life and keep running toward the glory of God!
Where is God helping you grow your faith muscle?