“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”
2 Timothy 3:16
The CrossFit Games Open is one of the best opportunities for an athlete to evaluate their own weaknesses. Furthermore, it’s an excellent opportunity to see how much better they’ve gotten over the course of the year and whether or not their strategies to fix their weaknesses have worked. I love how well the next five weeks level the playing field and force competitive athletes to take a hard look at their training regiment. At the end of the Open every year most athletes have the opportunity to assess where they need the most growth. However, as we all know, the year drags on and we forget the feeling we had after the last Open workout and we start falling back into the routine that we once did ignoring those weaknesses all over again. The Open comes every year to remind us that we have to stay focused on our weaknesses in the sport of CrossFit in order to see consistent improvement.
We really have two options, if you are a competitive athlete, when it comes to the sport of CrossFit. First, you can let competition give you a clear picture of what you need to work on and then respond by attacking those things. Second, you can let competition show where you are weak and what you need to work on and fall back into what you have always done, ignoring the need to attack those weak points. Which route you choose will have a massive impact on your development as an athlete.
In 2 Timothy 3, Paul tells us the same thing is true of our reading of the Bible. The Bible does a very good job of helping us to look at our own growth and pursuit of holiness. Literally one of the major reasons God has given us Scripture is to refine and direct us in our sanctification (growth in holiness). Paul reminds us that one of the Bible’s major purposes is to correct us and teach us as we pursue the Gospel.
However, just like with CrossFit competition, when we read the Bible we have two options:
1- We can read Scripture, ignoring what it really says, and make sure it fits our preferences, desires, and emotional needs. I mean the Bible shouldn’t be offensive after all right? This is really an easy route and one most of us will take if we are not careful. We have certain ideas about how our Christian life should look and yet there are certain Biblical truthes that we don’t necessarily like. There are certain ideas in Scripture that make us feel uneasy but we always have the option of ignoring those. Therefore, because we don’t want to feel uncomfortable about what Scripture says, we mold it and twist it just a little to make it feel comfortable and fit our idea of what Christ is calling us to. We often leave out or glance over very important things that God has intended to refine and reprove us with. This is very similar to seeing our weaknesses in competition and throughout the year ignoring them for the purpose of doing what we most enjoy in the gym. While the Bible certainly can be encouraging it can also be sobering. Much of what is written in Scripture forces us to take an introspective look at things that we don’t want to look at. We have an option at that point. Glance over, soften, or ignore what is a very prominent in Scripture or be honest with ourselves.
2- Our second option is exactly that. Let Scripture say exactly what it says. Let it read us. Let the Bible be exactly what God calls it. Breathed out by Him, inerrant, perfect, and absolutely applicable to our lives. In the same way that we can look at our weaknesses in CrossFit and do something about them, we must read God’s Word through the lens of life application. God does not give us the power or authority to mold and manage Scripture to fit our preferences. He gives us Scripture as an unchanging, perfect lens by which we can look at our own growth for holiness. If something makes you feel uneasy in the Bible, it might be worth spending some time on. If there are themes or doctrine in God’s Word that pushes back on certain areas of our life that we hold dear, we might have an idol problem. It’s lunacy to look at our weaknesses in exercise and continue year after year to ignore them and hope that they get better. Reading the Bible in hopes that it will fit our desires and our affections and make us feel better about ourselves every single day is the same lunacy. The Bible was meant to drive us towards the Gospel and refine us in our holiness. While the Bible certainly has elements of encouragement and grace and love, it often times has an element of reproof and teaching. We would be doing ourselves a disservice to ignore them.
As we progress through the Open I would encourage each of you to take a look at where you struggle, write those things down, and plan over the course of the next year to do the things that make you uncomfortable in order to grow in those areas. I would also advise the same introspective look toward Scripture. What makes you feel uneasy? What do you read and not necessarily agree with? Don’t gloss over those areas and certainly don’t mold them to fit your personal desires. Let the Bible be exactly as God intended it and I pray we would mold ourselves to it rather than the other way around.