I like to keep my mind engaged and I also try to stay physically fit. When I read, I like to read things that challenge me. When I work out, I like to do things that are tough and that make me think. A few years ago, I decided that my mind wasn’t getting enough exercise and what I was doing to stay physically fit wasn’t’ working either. One day, instead of dropping my kids off at their martial arts school, I decided to enroll. Although I’ve studied some martial arts before, every style is different, and everybody starts at the bottom. As a white belt, I must say it was quite humbling to call teenage daughters who are black belts “Ma’am!” It was even more humbling to try to do the kicks, stretches and techniques generally learned by someone 40 or more years my junior. I also learned something I never really thought of. I learned the awesome power of encouragement, both individually, and from a group. Whenever I would struggle with something I would hear the voices around me rooting for me. When I would finally master the move or technique my instructor would applaud, and then the whole room would join in! Even at my age I think I blushed a couple of times.
The Christian walk is quite similar in many ways. Although you may have been walking with the Lord for many years, you’ve got to stay alert and “train hard” or you will get soft very quickly. Even if you’ve accomplished much in life, if you’re not humble in your faith you’ll never accomplish anything in the Lord’s arena. Even though you may find Bible reading and prayer second nature, the newer Christians will not-they’ll struggle with it, and with staying away from sin. They’ll need much encouragement, and that encouragement will make all the difference.