Thursday, June 3, 2010

Exercise Your Heart

Yesterday I was on my way to pick up my brother-in-law from summer band practice at his middle school when I passed this clever church sign. So I pulled over and snapped a picture with my phone.

I love church signs, and now I wonder who's behind all these clever sayings? If anyone has a clue please let me know. This one caught my eye because it can be read in a manner different from what Pastor David Bragg intended.

For a healthy heart-exercise your faith.

The message is simple: mankind has issues with morality and church is where you can get help. Most people would leave it at that and continue driving, but not me. The words were entrenched in my mind where I mistakenly over analyze everything (my wife says I think too much). Going to church won't help you with your morality, your heart. All they'll do is remind you that you're a sinner, to pray every day, and to read your bible (and a small donation to God is also encouraged). How is this exercising your faith? Physical exercise entails carefully pushing your body to handle more pressure, pushing your body further than the day before. Sure, some of us may start off doing 5 push-ups a day (like myself on the Wii-Fit Plus) but if you want to see any improvements you've got to increase the pressure. Exercising your faith should entail pushing yourself to love your fellow man a bit more than you did yesterday while questioning some of the foundational principals of your faith. What does it truly mean to love your neighbor? Who exactly is our neighbor and which is harder to love: the fellow Christian down the street or the Atheist next door? What do we mean by love: tolerating homosexuality by loving the sinner and not the sin or totally embracing everything about that person including their sexual orientation? The only issue is that this may put some of your previous beliefs into question. Questioning your beliefs, like exercising, hurts at times and there's no way around it. This to me is exercising your faith, pushing yourself towards loving your fellow man.


Don said...

You are correct. "Exercising your faith" has nothing to do with attending a church. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Pushing yourself to expand love to everyone regardless is much more productive.

Chris Ledgerwood said...

Great post, Thanks!

captron52 said...

Once again another truly great and thoguht provoking post! Keep up the good work my friend!

Andrew said...

Wonderful way to articulate faith! What a different world it would be if we could define it that way universally.

Bekah said...

Hey! I was born and raised going to this church. Mr. Josephsen is the one who does the signs. Knowing the stand that my church takes on things, I'd say they agree with you. They take a stand on having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. (I'd say he probably got this from a book of church sign sayings.)Exercising your faith has nothing to do with church attendance, nor does going to church increase faith. Church is where like-minded believers get together to edify each other in love and to worship God and thank Him for who He is and what He has done. The definition of faith is found in Hebrews 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." I believe the intention of the sign was to get people who pass by to consider their faith in God and the condition of their heart and look to Him.

Unknown said...


Thanks for commenting.

"Church is where like-minded believers get together to edify each other in love and to worship God and thank Him for who He is and what He has done."

I understand this point but my comment was on how the sign could be read in a different manner. To me "exercising your faith" is pushing the limits of your faith envelope, to self reflect on what we hold to be true (what we have faith in) and to allow room for personal growth. To me "exercising your faith" would be like Abraham in Genesis 18:20-25 when he questions God's morality and champions to spare Sodom and Gomorrah. I know the intention of the sign is to get people to consider their relationship with God but how does that relationship reflect our interaction and relationship with our fellow man? Like I asked in the post what does it mean to love our neighbor? What does that love look like and is there anything keeping from increasing that love?

Thanks again, Bekah.

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