Single-Arm Service

We all have our favorite movements and our most challenging movements.  But any movement that is single-arm or single-leg, tops my list of challenging movements. Isolating one side reminds me how much weaker the left-side of my body is than my right side. One-arm presses on my left side are ugly. One-legged squats on my left leg are. not. pretty. When I do single-arm or single-leg work of any kind…I don’t end up looking very good. And though Jesus doesn’t ever teach about single-arm dumbbell presses or one-legged squats, Jesus does teach about the importance of doing things with only one hand…metaphorically anyway. In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus challenges his followers to serve with the right hand without letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing. In a way, he challenged his followers to single-arm-service-work.
Jesus said, “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-4 NLT)
In other words…don’t do good just to look good. I think that’s one of the unique things about Functional Fitness. The goal of Functional Fitness isn’t to look good, it’s to function “good.” In functional fitness, we don’t workout to look good. We workout to do good.  The proof is in recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey where I’ve seen many Faith Rx’d-ers and fitness enthusiasts come together to do good. (Faith Rx’d HQ was even able to quickly mobilize a clean-up team into Houston to help. Find out more about how Faith Rx’d is committed to Hope for Houston at I have loved seeing the functional fitness community come together to put their fitness to work and to do good as they serve complete strangers whose homes got flooded. That’s why we do this fitness stuff isn’t it? That’s why we put ourselves through such challenging workouts. It’s not so that we can look good but so that we can do good — to be strong enough to serve. We workout so that we can cut out soggy-wet carpet, tear out sheetrock, and haul out heavy furniture to the curb. We workout so that we have the strength to bless our neighbors and serve our city and not be so wiped out and sore the next day that we can’t get up and do it again, because there’s still so much more work that needs to be done. When our fitness community comes together for Harvey Relief, no one cares about looking good. No one cares about getting credit. No one cares about getting a pat-on-the-back or an attaboy for their service. No one was serving for fame or glory or for their name to be in lights. No one was doing good just to look good. In fact, here’s what I noticed about those relief-work-teams:  people would team up with complete strangers to serve complete strangers. Work teams were composed of people who didn’t even know one another’s first names. Sometimes they didn’t even know what each other’s faces looked like, because their faces were hidden behind their construction masks! None of us were serving to look good. None of us were looking our best at all. We were covered in sweat and sheetrock and sewage-contaminated-moldy-creek-water. In functional fitness, we don’t workout to look good. We workout to do good. We want to be strong enough to serve because service is the reward. And that, I believe is how Jesus wants us to serve. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Just serve.

3 Responses to Single-Arm Service

  1. Lisa Quinn October 27, 2017 at 7:42 am #

    Thank you for your sharing insight and keeping us on track with fitness and health!

    ps~ Is the author Andrew Thompson, Marine officer? I trained under tutelage of then Maj Andrew Thompson at CF Quantico 2007~

    Lisa Q

    • Andrew Thompson October 27, 2017 at 8:00 am #

      Hi Lisa,
      I am not a Marine officer. But massive respect for Maj Andrew Thompson (and you) for serving our country…And respect to Maj Thompson for having a great name!

      • Lisa Q November 19, 2017 at 4:40 pm #

        Thank you for taking time to reply Andrew~
        Keep on bringing us good insight into the word!
        Lisa Q