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The Importance of Training

27 Apr

This Sunday, we’ll witness one of boxing’s biggest fight in history:

Mayweather-Pacquiao

Mayweather-vs-Pacquiao-fight-poster-599x330

Boxing Analysts say that this will be the richest fight in boxing and thinks that the event on Saturday will rank among the top 5 greatest matches of all time. All the hype and excitement are building up for this fight. For the past week, I’ve already seen three promotional videos about it. Check them through these links:

Mayweather-Pacquiao: AT LAST (HBO Documentary)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF76dlQt23c

Mayweather-Pacquiao: The Legend Speaks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5gEjs5jfHw

Inside Mayweather-Pacquiao
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiO6-5Qj4Zs

Watching these documentaries gives me an understanding of how these two fighters arrived to their level of supremacy today, what happened to the negotiations the past 5 years and how intensive their training camp has been in preparation for the fight.

They say that professional boxers train for 8-12 weeks for a fight. For some, even longer. That’s how much time, energy and dedication is needed to prepare for a 12 round boxing match-up.

Athletes aren’t the only ones who do training. Musicians, Public Speakers, Businessmen, and people from other fields also train as well. They do this to get better at their craft having a specific end goal in mind. They train because they want to be able to achieve something.

Training in the Bible
Last week, I read a verse in the Bible that also talks about training. Apparently, during the apostle Paul’s time, there were already athletics back then and Paul saw how athletes would train hard in order to win competitions.

1 Corinthians 9:25
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

I find it amazing how the apostle Paul was able to use the the concept of sports as an illustration on how we are to live this life. This is the verse that I read last week:

1 Timothy 4:7-9
…train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come

According to him, we are to train ourselves in godliness. I first heard and understood the concept of training for godliness from John Ortberg’s book: “The Life You’ve Always Wanted.” The author explains the difference of trying to become something vs. training to prepare for something. Just like the upcoming fight of Mayweather and Pacquaio, they can try their best to win and beat the other opponent; however if they don’t set apart those 8-12 weeks in training camp then they will most likely fail in beating their competition.

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The same is true in life, the apostle Paul exhorts us to train ourselves in godliness. In life’s most critical moments, will we be ready? Will we be prepared to act in a Christ-like way whenever a situation calls for it? Will we demonstrate and bear the fruits of the Spirit i.e. (love, peace, patience, kindness… etc.)? The key here is not to “TRY OUR BEST” whenever those moments come. The key is training and preparing when those moments arrive.

So what does that mean? What does training myself in godliness look like? Just like how a boxer prepares 8-12 weeks for a 12 round match-up, our training lies in our everyday lives. Everyday is an opportunity to practice the fruits of the spirit in little ways. I’m sure that whenever we encounter people, our fruits will always be tested. We have a lot of times where our patience can get tested, right? Just line up in a grocery store and wait for a long line to get finished before it ticks of your nerves. Dealing with difficult people is always an opportunity to test our character. Will we choose to say kind words today or will we just say whatever is on our minds not worrying about the feelings of other people? Every moment and every minute is always a battle for self-control. Will we choose to say no or will we choose to succumb to our appetites?

These little things are our training ground to godliness. These little things build up so that we can be a more patient, loving, peaceful, self-controlled person. These little momentes in our lives that we take for granted are actually opportunites for us to get trained in godliness. If we maximize these little moments in our lives… when the going gets tough… when the biggest challenges of life come then by God’s grace we will be ready. 🙂

Now if you’re reading this blog, I hope you won’t take this for granted. I feel like some people may think that this is a “nice” idea but won’t really take it seriously. We all do that sometimes, however let’s look back and consider what the Apostle Paul said once again:

1 Timothy 4:7-9
…train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come

Paul says, people who train for sports, music or whatever those things may be. He says that those things are good and nice. They have value! They provide us with entertainment. However, boxers like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather trains intensively 8-12 weeks for something of temporal value. It has value but nonetheless temporal. For us however, I believe that the training that God’s calling us to do is way way more important and has so much more value in this life and the life to come.

It has value in this life because we can demonstrate to the whole world what it means to be a disciple of Christ. It has value in the life to come because training ourselves in godliness makes us more Christ-like and sanctified, which after all, is more important than any temporary success we can get.

Everyday is our training ground for godliness, let’s not take it for granted. Maximize every opportunity! God bless!

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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Life Lessons

 

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