Apparently, most people mistake the word gym for the word gymnasium (well, in the absolute sense of their definitions). Rather than a place for training, gym is primarily the physical education/training/exercise. So why do we gym? To be physically fit!!!
Permit me to also say that to be spiritually fit, we also need to GYM – God, You, and Me. Basically, I’m saying you need God, your neighbor, and yourself in this world (the gymnasium in this context) to be spiritually fit. That is the way God designed it. If you notice in the literal definition of gym, the words education, training, and exercise was mentioned. Picking on each of these words, I’ll say let us educate ourselves with (feed on) the word of God, let us train ourselves in His ways (doers of the word), and let us exercise the gifts we have received and the fruits of our regeneration. Jesus stated this concept of GYM in Matthew 22:37-39 (AMP)
“37 And Jesus replied to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]”
I really like the way the Amplified version puts the latter part of verse 39, “unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others”. Think of someone you truly love; can you unselfishly seek the best or higher good for them? Now think of someone that disgusts you, can you still unselfishly seek the best or higher good for them? Jesus did not say “you shall only love your good neighbor as yourself. Your ability to love someone you are not a fan of, requires that you stretch yourself beyond the limits of loving – exercise to be fit in loving!!! What value is your love really if you have not shown it in this manner? God’s spirit gave You the fruit of love so you can show Me (even if you don’t dig me) and not keep it to yourself. The same goes for patience, faith, joy, peace, all of them as found in Galatians 5:22-23.
Also, when it comes to God, what is the extent of your love for Him, and your trust in Him? Is it with “all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind”. Even though God’s presence is ever available to us, sometimes He withdraws the feeling so that in the darkest times, our faith will be exercised in trusting Him more and our love for Him will be based on our knowledge of Him. So even when you feel He is not there, He is there. Neither His existence nor His love for you depends on how good or bad you feel at the moment – C’mon guys, He is God!!!
Undoubtedly, there is more to say about this spiritual GYM. But just to conclude, we know just like physical fitness, we must constantly gym to be fit, and most importantly, let’s not forget our nutritional requirement, the sincere milk of the word. Make the year 2017, one in which being spiritually fit will be your priority.
Oluwaseun E. Adedeji