Friday, August 17, 2012

Country Strong

I have heard of people who undergo plastic surgery to have muscle implants. That's right. There is a group of people so consumed with their appearance that they are willing to have silicone bags put into their bodies to have the pretense of strength. The problem is that while they look good (from a distance) there is no real strength in them and if they were forced to test it, their true weakness would show. 

True muscle strength gained from hard work can't be genuinely imitated. In my time here in GA I have met many people who have never seen the inside of a gym, but are still conditioned with hard muscle gained from a strong work ethic. It's muscle increase from years of working--a type that can't be replicated artificially.

The same principle applies spiritually. We can speak of strength by pulling out our Sunday school attendance record, talking about the number of Bible studies we have been in, counting off the prayer breakfasts we have been a part of, and how many Bibles are in our homes. These things alone make us appear to have strength, but don't provide it the same way that having our faith tested through trials and temptations will. Those other markers will build up our knowledge, but nothing will strengthen us the same way that perseverance through adversity & faith in action will. Being refined through life and seeing our understanding & confidence in God change along the way makes us "country strong" in a way that mere attendance without application cannot. It's the difference in looking good from a distance and having a foundation of power that can be used.

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