There is perhaps no new year goal and resolution more repetitive and popular than the desire to lose weight or eat healthy.
As a result, gym and fitness clubs across the world tend to receive their highest amount of new memberships within the first few days of January. However, speak privately to any owner of one of these clubs and they will undoubtedly agree that by the end of January, the long lines of people standing to run on the treadmill or ride on one of their stationary bikes will vanish.
This is largely due to the fact that while most people have great intentions on losing weight, they make the mistake of beginning each new year by exercising alone, void of any trainer, partner, or source of accountability that would help to challenge and encourage them to continue reaching their goal.
In Hebrews 12:1, those committed to pursuing healthier lifestyles are provided the perfect workout plan to not only improve on their waistlines, but in every area of their lives:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Whether we may know it or not, each of us are currently surrounded by a crowd of people who serve as an essential part of our faith and walk with God. Those we confide in and associate with the most can have a significant impact on how much physical and emotional weight we are carrying around into each new day.
However, when we choose to go throughout life alone, relying on the mirrors hanging in our own private gyms to inform us as to how our faith is doing, we will never get an accurate assessment of how what we need to add, or what now needs to be released.
This new year, before you step onto another scale to weigh your own progress, start by weighing your crowd. Surround yourself now with those who are not only running beside you, but those who have the ability to run ahead of you.
Because it is very difficult to reach a finish line with a crowd who has never seen one.