New Year Work Out
January 3, 2013
No, it’s not some exercise routine or diet regimen, nor is it a motivational practice. It’s a biblical directive from St. Paul: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (See Phil. 2:12) Make no mistake though: following this instruction can be as life changing – life enhancing – as any activity you’ve ever undertaken!
What makes it so spiritually invigorating, and thus a valid pathway to human improvement, is the one-on-one relationship with God that it requires and develops. You see, the Apostle Paul didn’t just leave it as a “you go do this and come back when you’re done” kind of imperative. He followed his statement with this reassurance: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
You’ll note that one distinctive element of this particular Bible passage is that it’s your OWN salvation that’s being worked out. Not you assisting with someone else’s (likely to your detriment), nor is it someone else working out yours (definitely to your detriment). This is just between you and God – although the outcome is of benefit to all mankind. How so? Because any deepened relationship with God and the spiritual growth that comes therefrom, is always larger than just the one learning and growing. “What blesses one blesses all,” as 19th century theologian, Mary Baker Eddy, said in her masterpiece on salvation, Science and Health. (see page 206)
A particularly helpful idea from Proverbs explains how to tackle this: “Commit thy works [or workout] unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Prov 16:3) Thus, as you turn this over to your heavenly Father, it is God Himself that is filling you with a right understanding of what pleases Him, and so enabling you to be about His business in a right and normal way, blessing and being blessed.
That kind of workout, though not easy, is definitely worth pursuing. And worth rejoicing about. As the Psalmist says, “For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work.” (92:4)
Here’s to a New Year workout filled with joy, progress, harmony – and of course, salvation!
You may enjoy this translation from The Message by Eugene Peterson: “Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.”
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.