I workout a LA Fitness and it is amazing how crowded the gym became after January 1. Everyone seems to what to be a better looking person at the beginning of the year. I have seen countless weight loss commercials on TV promoting a better you in 6 weeks. Last week, I took a step aerobics class. I haven’t done that kind of aerobics in about 10 years! I was exhausted. My legs were like noodles! It’s amazing that I used to be a college athlete.
When I was in college, I played tennis so I had to work out a lot whether I wanted to or not. We would have practice every afternoon which included lots of running and conditioning. In the winter, we would meet at 6:00am to run and lift weights. Conditioning was one of those things that I both loved and hated. I loved that it got me in shape for the season, but I hated how much sacrifice and physical pain it took.
The thing about building muscle and getting in shape is that it takes a lot of time. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it’s frustrating. But it’s always rewarding. The same is true with our character. God is in a process of building our character. He wants to build in us a character like His. The truth is that it is a challenge to pursue that type of character. Most people give up after a week in the gym because it’s too hard. Just like building muscle, building character takes discipline and perseverance. We would rather spend time working on our outward appearance than take the time to build our character. 1 Samuel 16:7 says that man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. What kind of heart is God looking for? He is looking for a pure and honest heart.
Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. Psalm 24:3-5 (NIV)
In order to build muscle, you have to practice. The same is true spiritually. In order to build a character you have to practice. If you want a better you in 6 weeks, then you need to practice. Practice the characteristics that God wants to build into you. I promise that you will be a better you in 6 weeks!