Continued from yesterday…
Fellowship: From the Great Theologian, Saint Arnold of Austria (Part 1/2)
“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once told [Joe Weider] that anybody who hangs out with guys who miss workouts, lack enthusiasm for their training and don’t want to push themselves will never be successful. He said that to spend time with those sorts of individuals would be devastating to his goals.”
3. Don’t want to push themselves – There is a sense in modern American Christianity that if it doesn’t make you feel good, it must not be from God. We obviously have not read the second half of the Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter 11. I’m not advocating that we should take up rituals of self-abasement, but I know that Scriptures are full of exhortation for pressing on and enduring when things get tough (2 Cor 13.16, Heb 10.36, Jm 1.12). We need to see that some things that enter our lives that don’t necessarily feel good are actually going to bear good fruit in our lives. And let’s face it, following Jesus can actually complicate one’s life rather than make it more comfortable (Just ask a Muslim convert who has been shunned by their family). If we hang out with men and women who are being stretched in their faith, we gain encouragement to endure when our faith is stretched.
I don’t know where Arnold stands with Jesus, but I think he’s nailed down a bit of truth here. We become like the people we hang out with. Notice I never mentioned non-Christians. I assume you understand that believers don’t take their cues for living from those of the world (1 Jn 2.15-16). I also assume you are developing loving relationships with unbelievers for the sake of winning them to Christ. But, it is evident that if a Christian is fellowshipping with passionate followers of Jesus, they tend to follow suit. The goal is to find believers that will help us love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mt 22.37-39).
Shout Out to:
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Fort Huachuca, Arizona
Victor, New York
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