we can’t let it slide and just close our eyes

if anyone has ever told you that being a christian is easy, i would like you to leave a comment on here with their name and address so that i can personally drive to their house and punch them in the face. okay, i wouldn’t really do that, but it’s what i would want to do. the truth is, being a christian is not easy at all. being a christian is actually harder than not being a christian.

in high school, my baseball coaches used to have a saying that they would always say in practice. it got to the point that we would use it as a response to everything. it really turned into a cliche’ but it was true.

if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.

the idea behind that is that you’re never just staying the same. there’s no such thing as plateauing. you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. the second that you stop getting better, you instantly start regressing.

think of it as driving a car. the instant that you take your foot off of the gas pedal, you start slowing down. it takes a little while for you to slow down a ton and notice it, but you automatically start slowing down.

if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.

being a christian is a lot like being on that practice field.

i started out this year saying i wanted to do big things. i wanted to keep growing as a christian. i wanted to keep tackling my demons. i wanted to keep developing as a leader. i wanted to keep getting “better.”

i made up a plan to do this. my pastor introduced me to something called “b90x.” obviously, it’s a play on the work out system known as p90x. the idea is that you read through the entire bible in only 90 days. i decided to look into it. i thought that by having a plan and constantly reading my bible, that’s how i could continue to grow.

after looking into b90x, and knowing my schedule, i decided that b90x was a little too intense for me. it was about 16 chapters of the bible a day. instead, i decided to turn it into b180x. i figured i could do eight chapters a day.

so i started. then the craziest thing happened: god started talking to me through the old testament. holy crap. that never happens. i mean, it’s the old testament. it can’t be relevant in 2010, right?

for about a week and a half i read my eight chapters a day. i did really well. i was getting “better.” i was conquering my junk on an every day basis. i was growing. i was learning. everything that i wanted to have happen, happened.

then life happened.

then everything started getting crazy. work got busier. i was more tired when i got home. i forgot to read one day. then the next day i tried to make up for it, but didn’t have the time or the energy to completely finish it and said i’d do it the next day. but i forgot that day. then i saw that i was two days behind and thought there’s no way i’ll be able to make this up and didn’t even try that day. then the next day i started thinking i’m this far behind, why even try?

if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.

what happened was that i started losing on the battles that i had been winning on. i started clicking on the link to see carrie prejean in a bikini instead of not even giving it a second thought. i started glancing to look at the trainer for the other team who was stretching out some of the players on the court. i let my mind go to places that i knew i shouldn’t. innocent thoughts that had been ending at “hey, she’s pretty” quickly went down a path that they shouldn’t have.

and it’s all because i got complacent. i stopped striving to get better. i decided that because things around me were going crazy and because i was worn out, i could take a day off and it wouldn’t hurt. i thought that i could skip a day and it wouldn’t matter.

i was wrong.

one day turned into five.

one innocent thought went where it shouldn’t.

one decision canceled out all of the progress that i had made.

and that’s why i say that being a christian isn’t easy. we must always strive to get better. we must always do whatever we can to grow. we can’t take a day off. the second that we do, we start screwing up again. this process doesn’t end with a prayer. that’s just the beginning. it’s up to us to keep it going.

at the end of the day, my coaches were right.

if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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