But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves,……Romans 2:8 NLT

Last week, I found myself inserting a comment about my own fitness as I witnessed someone helping my mother-in-law practice standing without falling. What I said was totally unnecessary. I meant it to garner this young physical therapist’s admiration that someone my age was so fit. 

The blue letter Bible translates ‘who live for themselves’ (eritheia in Greek) this way:  self-promoting. Apparently, in the NT a courting distinction, a desire to put one’s self forward.

That’s Maria, for sure.

When the Holy Spirit pinged me the next morning, I had to ask myself this pointed question, ‘Maria, so just how do you think your physical strength is going to showcase Christ? And are you really that desperate for recognition for something about your appearance?’

I cringe now to think how presumptuous I was to imagine that a young gal would even think I look fit. From her point of view, I’m old!

Paul did say something about physical exercise.  Do you remember? He said it was of ‘a little’ use.

…..for bodily training is just slightly beneficial, but godliness is beneficial for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 NKJV

What will catch someone’s attention more, my toned body, or my patient, calm kindness to someone who doesn’t deserve it?  Which shows off Christ’s powerful work in me?  Yes, the latter, and 1000 times over!

Patience and kindness in the midst of provocation, a non-anxious demeanor whenever those around are flailing and panicking, these are signals of something supernatural.  This kind of person creates curiosity as in, “What’s up with you?  Don’t you realize what he just said to you? Aren’t you worried about…….?”

So….am I going to stop working out at my gym? No, of course not. I’m just praying that the Holy Spirit will cut me off before I try to self-promote again.  Whether I am boasting (modestly, of course) about fitness or my ability with languages, I want to point to Christ….not Maria.