The Secret Sauce to Spiritual Growth

I’ve been on a kettlebell kick lately.

I’m fascinated by the lure of just two kettlebell exercises causing a “what the hell?” effect.

The What the Hell Effect is well known throughout the kettlebell community. Doing kettlebell work, specifically kettlebell swings and turkish get-ups, has a way of improving all sorts of other physical activities that seem to be unrelated.

Premeditated Fitness

Living in the world of kettlebell swings and turkish get-ups has brought surprising clarity to a question Christians often wrestle with: How do we grow in our faith and mature in our relationship with Christ?

The answer begins with those two exercises.

Turns out those two simple exercises are very challenging, technically. Do the turkish get-up wrong and you’re going to have brain matter splattered all over the floor. On the plus side, you won’t have to worry about becoming a zombie afterward.

All that to say, you need good form and technique. So I spent a lot of time reading and looking at YouTube videos.

Too much time.

As Christians, how often do we equate knowledge with spiritual growth, deep doctrinal understanding with maturity, or assume consuming spiritual content means we’re growing?

I’m following a YouVersion reading plan, listening to Tim Keller’s podcast, worshiping to Bethel Music, and reading John Piper.

I’m growing!

Not necessarily.

It doesn’t matter how much I know about proper kettlebell technique. Until I start doing the exercises, I’ll never experience growth. I’ll never get stronger.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 1:22 NIV

Your spiritual muscles don’t get stronger just by reading this passage.

“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Matthew 18:21-22 NIV

You have to actually forgive.

Being aware of your sins doesn’t matter much. You have to actually confess and turn from your sins (Proverbs 28:13).

Knowing we are to be like Christ isn’t enough. You have to actually demonstrate love. Humble yourself, serve others and be willing to make sacrifices (Philippians 2:5-8, Ephesians 5:1-2).

People who do those things are the mature.

Honestly, I got more excited about learning kettlebell technique than the idea of getting healthier, fitter, and stronger.

I want us all to have spiritual “what the hell?” moments.

Times when we look back on our actions and wonder how in the world did our faith get so strong? Where did the courage to invite someone to church come from? When did we feel confident enough to lead someone to Christ? How did we know to encourage someone with that specific Bible verse?

Those “what the hell?” moments only happen when we start doing. So here’s my challenge to you. Pick a verse and live it out this next week!

How have you seen your faith grow as you’ve been more obedient?