S05E002, All Rounder, Endurance
On this episode, we look at the idea of being a spiritual ‘all-rounder’.
Endurance is your weekly spiritual workout, whether you think of yourself as a beginner, an intermediate, or advanced!
In this week’s GoDeeper Steven kicks off by pointing out that just as we need to work on all the different aspects of fitness, we also need to work on all the different aspects of the Christian faith, not just the ones that look good in church.
One of this week’s passages of Scripture from 1 Corinthians talks about spiritual giftings. Steven explains that there is a difference between skills and giftings with a simple example.
The fruit of the Spirit gets a mention as Steven highlights the fact that you can’t have one of the nine parts of the fruit of the Spirit without the other eight.
He challenges us to practice all the different Christian disciplines such as reading the Bible, praying, giving, and listening to God, not just the ones we find easier or that look good.
For the final segment, Nathan asks Steven some difficult questions about his GoDeeper:
- How are you? (Can he avoid saying “I’m fine”?)
- Which areas of our lives do look good in church?
- It talked about spiritual gifts in one of the Scriptures you read. Which one do you think is the most important?
- Balance seems to be the key word of your talk. Would you agree?
Check out this week’s episode to find out Steven’s answers to these questions.
Steven and Nathan
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READ THE TRANSCRIPT
Welcome to Endurance, your weekly spiritual workout. This week, we're looking at the idea of an all rounder. And obviously, in physical exercise, it's important to exercise all the different parts of your body, not just your arms, not just your legs, but everywhere, in order to ensure you're healthy in your entire body. It's the same in spiritual exercise, we can't just exercise those parts of our spiritual lives that make us look good. Those those areas that we're comfortable in. So, both of our scriptures are oddly enough in 1 Corinthians, and Steven is going to expand that topic of how we exercise all the different areas of our lives, not just those that were comfortable in. Hopefully he's prepared something to say. Otherwise, this will be a very short episode. And then we'll discuss it afterwards, and I'll ask him lots of pointed questions, which, you know, as per last week, I'll be asking him very, how does one put it? I'll try and make them as uncomfortable as possible. It's more enjoyable that way. So enjoy, I'm, I'm Nathan by the way. Enjoy.
What does it benefit anyone if you have sound theology, but don't show the love that Christ showed you? #SpeakTruth.
So this is another GoDeeper with me, Steven. So let's go. I wrote this, I don't know when, but a little while back. When weight training, you shouldn't just work on the muscles that look good at the beach. So it is with the faith, you shouldn't just improve the areas of your life that look good in church. That's kind of what we're talking about today. It's the idea of, in exercise, you have to train every aspect of fitness. We don't have to, but it's good practice to work every different aspect, you can't just increase bodybuilding by just working your arms, you need to work your shoulders, abs, you need to work your legs. And if you were doing proper weight training, you also need to do some cardio, work your heart. Cos with increased muscles you need stronger heart to pump more blood.
And we can be tempted to just work those that look good. So perhaps you might just work your biceps like mine, or, or just your abs because it's easier. We need to work all the different aspects. And it's the same with the Christian faith. That brings me to Scripture. 1 Corinthians 19 verse 24, it says this, Don't you realise that in a race, everyone runs. But only one person gets the price. So, run to win. All athletes are disciplined in their training, they do it to win a prize that will fade away. But we do it for on eternal prize.
I think that's a reminder of what we're doing this for, what we are training for. It's for heaven. Which leads me on to 1 Corinthians 12, 4 to 10. Quite a big one. There are different kinds of spiritual gifts. The same spirit is the source of them all. There are some kinds of service but. No. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God makes. Sorry, no. God works in different ways. But it is the same God who does the work in all of us. It then goes on to list lots of different gifts for example. The Spirit gives faith to one person, another he gives the gift of healing, some the power to perform miracles, another to prophesy, etc, etc, etc. I want to make this distinction between skills and gifts. For example, someone might be skilled in music but have a gift in public speaking, just hypothetically. They might be really skilled, really good at music, but God has called them, God has gifted them in public speaking. And they may be tempted to just work on the areas of music because they enjoy it. So they'll practice, they'll get lessons, they'll improve that area. But what they should be doing is training that area of public speaking. That is an example of training badly, that's not what God wants.
And also that passage also talks about the body of Christ, our different roles, our gifts, our part of that body of Christ. We need to find our role, which I think changes as you get older, whatnot. I kind of lost my train of thought there. But, that brings me on to the fruit of spirit, which is, it be a real miss. If I missed that bit. Galatians 5, 22 to 23. The fruit the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. There are nine parts, you can't really have any one of them without the eight others. For example, if your patient, sorry impatient, if you're impatient, which a lot of people might struggle with. It kind of points to a lack of self-control, or you can't, you can't be impatient and also have self control. They don't, if you don't have one, you don't have the other eight. They come together as one fruit of the Spirit. This is what we're talking about, we need all the aspects. Interestingly, there are seven components of fitness required for the Royal Marines. Flexibility, endurance, skill, stamina, strength, speed and power. You need all seven to be fit enough to join the Royal Marines. That's just interesting.
At the heart of the matter, really is Christian disciplines. For example, prayer, reading the Bible, generosity, etc. We can easily find one of those which we think oh, yeah, that's nice and easy. So for example, for me, reading the Bible is quite an easy one. Every day, I might read a few verses scripture to start the day and at the end. Very easy one to sort out. When it comes to prayer, I find that more of a challenge. It's easy enough for me to just think I'll read some more scripture, it's kind of a good Christian discipline. I think all of us can probably point to one on this list, which isn't a huge list, of something that we find easier to do. But we need to train all the different aspects. I need to pray, I need to listen to God. As well as reading the Scripture, I need to do all these different aspects and that is what we've been talking about, all rounder. We need to train all those different aspects of the Christian faith.
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Okay, so Steven, how are you?
We talked about that last week.
Okay. I'm nervous about what questions you're going to ask me.
Oh, good. So, I thought the first one, which areas of our lives look good in church?
I suppose. Bible knowledge.
Bible knowledge, yeah.
People who read the Bible a lot will have a good knowledge of what the Scriptures are saying. So, they'll just chuck out all these verses, all the time. Can be quite annoying really.
Looks good when you are able to quote these verses from memory. I mean, Jesus talked about that, didn't he? Also, when we fast and all the charity work that looks really good.
Yeah. So things that people can see though innit?
Yeah. Okay, our servant heart. That's not so visible is it?
Okay. Talked about spiritual gifts in that scripture you read. Which one would you, do you think the most important spiritual gift?
I'd say that no, one of them is more important than another. Each one is important to the body of Christ. If you don't have, you need someone leading. If you don't have anything to lead, if everyone was leaders, obviously it'd be. There's that scripture, something about to be an eye. You have loads of eyes and that's it.
You need ears, and all that.
Okay, you need every part of the body. But I think the key word of your talk might be balance. Do you agree?
Yeah. That sounds good.
You need a balance between all the different skills. You need a balance between how healthy you are across your entire body. And you need a balance in roles in the church. Like you can't have all leaders. That's imbalanced. And you can't have all, I don't know, scripture readers.
Yeah, thats good, balanced, yeah I like that.
Balanced. Yeah. Okay, good. So, thank you, Steven. I think that was a marvellous talk, very challenging. And it's definitely something for all of us to go away and think about in terms of our spiritual exercise, our spiritual walk. So, goodbye, and we'll see you next week.
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Written by Steven The Dude