humility in the gym

So, it’s been three weeks since I pulled my back. Therefore, for one who treats most things as if they have an on-off switch, it’s been three weeks of moderate torture. I’ve always been fortunate enough to physically do just about whatever I wanted, so silly injuries like this immediately turn into mountain-out-of-a-molehill type situations. However, I got back to the gym this week, but it was far from an enjoyable experience. It hit me last night that my trip to the gym was not all that unlike bringing ourselves before God, whether for the first time or the millionth. Bringing ourselves before God requires humility, submitting to our Father’s authority, admitting we are not and can never be equal to Him.

Resolution in humility

Were it not for a resolve to lift less, and generally do less, I might not be able to sit up straight enough to be typing this. Humility last night came in the form of halving, or decreasing even further, my normal workload. I had to put my head down and, in humility, ignore the sea of familiar faces and do only what I was capable. Similarly, humility before God requires a sort of commitment to deny the desire to do and be more than we were created. Humility necessitates doing what feels counterintuitive, countercultural and just being exposed. Oftentimes, that exposure before God compels us to be open and honest with the familiar faces around us.

Humility gets a bad rap

Humility is such a dirty word in the age of the individual. Humbling the self necessarily means that we are not building the self-image, not selling the self-brand, not marketing or leveraging our assets to the best of our abilities. In business terms, you’re gonna lose some potential “buyers,” but humility isn’t about consumerism. Humility is about being true to yourself, true to your truest self and discovering that truest self. Humility isn’t surrender, though submission almost always feels like throwing up the white flag (even if it’s rightly before an Almighty God), rather it’s a God-given victory. It’s only through humility that we will find out who He’s made us to be, and only then will we truly be able to make the most of what we’ve got.

Humility is both necessary in the physical, as well as the spiritual aspects of life. In my case, humbling myself in recovering from injury, but there’s a lot of application in relationships. Humility is absolutely necessary when it, or should I say when we, come before God. Humility has been construed a lot of negative ways, but there is nothing negative about it other than the current societal context. Over the years, we’ve screwed it up. Humility is about stripping away the brand, the accolades, the glitz and glam, and getting back to the basics of who we are. It’s getting back to being daughters and sons of God. It’s getting back to being the person made by the hands of God, His pleasing and acceptable handiwork. Isn’t that good enough?