“There is no growth without resistance.”
Not long ago, I had a friend ask for some tips in the gym. He said, “I’m lifting regularly, at least three or four days a week, but nothing is happening. I’m not seeing any growth or progress.”
My answer was pretty simple. I had seen him working out. “You need to lift more weight. You are working out regularly, but you really are not forcing your muscles to work. Lift heavier and you will start to see some results.”
I see it all the time. People go through the motions of a workout but their muscles are not being pushed. If a person can do 10-12 repetitions of an exercise at a certain weight and it is easy, they need more weight. The goal is to make the muscle work. This involves exertion. This involves pushing through the resistance. That is what causes the muscles to grow.
This principle, however, carries over into other aspects of our life as well. Spiritual growth also takes place when we overcome resistance. Getting up thirty minutes early to read your Bible and pray can be very difficult. When the alarm goes off, all you want to do is turn it off, roll over, and go back to sleep. Pushing through the resistance, though, is what takes us to the next level in our spiritual lives.
You might feel challenged to become a more generous person with your finances. Everything inside of you says, “You can’t afford to start tithing. You won’t have enough money left for your bills!” This is the spiritual equivalent of lifting heavier weight. It is hard and feels uncomfortable at first. It eventually becomes our new normal. As we push through the resistance we feel that tithing is not hard anymore and we might want to give at a higher level or even support some people involved in missionary work. (See what I did there?)
For some people, the resistance comes in the area of serving. Volunteering regularly at church is inconvenient. There are so many other things that I could be doing with my time. The resistance here is for us to be selfish with our time. When we decide to push through our selfishness and commit to serving, we become bigger people on the inside. Eventually, the idea of volunteering will become natural for us and we will be looking for other ways to be generous with our time.
For a more in-depth discussion of Resistance, check out Stephen Pressfield’s book, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. This is the best analysis of the internal fight that goes on inside of us that I have ever read.
What area of your life do you feel the most resistance? How do you overcome it?
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