Hiring a personal trainer has become a very popular way for people to meet fitness goals. Lots of people are finally experiencing success. A trainer can help encourage you to do the things you may not want to do. A personal trainer can challenge you to do more than you even thought possible. A great picture of this is watching Carole Lewis do her strength training in the gym at Houston’s First Baptist Church. She is pushing heavy 15 pound weights over her head and is just about at her limit. Her trainer gently lays a hand on her arm and says “one more” and Carole does it! That is what a trainer can do for you. My problem is that I need this kind of encouragement in every area of my life—all the time.
As a fitness professional, I have seen all kinds of trainers with different techniques. There is the bossy, disciplinarian trainer who is quick to yell and tell you what you are doing wrong, using shame and humiliation. Yeah! That really works. I do that to myself; I really don’t need anyone else doing it. Then there is the “hands off” trainer who pretty much leaves you alone, not offering much help at all. I really don’t like being ignored, so that doesn’t work for me either. I need help.
In our FP4H Bible Study Training for Success, author Janet McHenry says, “The best person who could coach us, the one we call our personal trainer, is Jesus Christ. While He was and still is fully God, He was also fully man during his 30 some years on this earth. The best thing about having Christ as a personal trainer is that He is available 24/7 through the Bible and prayer.”
Now that’s what I’m talking about. I need this kind of personal training with this kind of trainer. Jesus personally wants to be involved in our life training. Actually, that is what this life is about. It’s called the sanctification process—training in righteousness. It involves a transformation process that conforms us to the image of Christ. This process is not designed to happen overnight. In fact, it will take a lifetime—right up to the moment we leave this body and come face to face with Jesus.
So how do we make the most of this training time? There are probably a thousand things we can do but here are three:
Show up for the training. Jesus spent time with His Father. He made time, even in his busy, healing, teaching and dead-raising schedule; he still had time to spend with His Father. Our daily devotional time in prayer and Bible study is our opportunity to review the tape on how well we played the game the day before. God uses this opportunity to say, “Look how well you did when that person insulted you.” “Way to go!” He also uses the time to gently show us where we totally dropped the ball. He never condemns or shames us, but calls us to repentance with his kindness. He teaches us how to be stronger, kinder and more like Him.
Plan on victory. I recently traveled to Eastern Europe for ten days. I knew I would be out of my exercise routine, and I would not have access to the foods I normally eat. Before I left on the trip, I emailed my FP4H class and asked them to pray for me to be faithful to my wellness disciplines. I also asked them to let me email them my food tracker EVERY DAY while I was gone. I planned on being victorious and these steps of accountability only strengthened my resolve. I did not gain weight! In fact, I weighed less than when I left. I placed my faith in God and planned on the victory. It is true that “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.”
Make every day a training day. I’m being transparent here: There was a time when going on a trip like the one above, I would have taken a vacation from my disciplines, using it as an excuse to sleep through my quiet time, eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted. No longer! I have finally learned that it is God’s plan for me to make every day a First Place 4 Health day.
Success is in the process—if we don’t give up.