Today I want to share with you A Boxing Lesson. From Boxing, I will expand it to connect with the words of Christ (of course). And finally, I’ll try to set it up so that the gospel principle can be applied in any circumstance.
My wife and two of my children have been taking Boxing Lessons since December. In our classes there are people of all degrees of skill level. It was a rude awakening for me, as I learned that I didn’t know as much as I thought I knew about boxing. However, over the past three months I have observed our progress, and have extracted A Boxing Lesson.
The lesson is really simple. It is a stepping stone of progression, …that is usually taken out of order, …AND often goes unnoticed by both students and coaches. Consider these four attributes:
- Mind- the right mentality to pace yourself through the difficulty of the work
- Technique- the proper footwork, punching technique, and defensive responses
- Repetition- the proper practice, that makes permanent
- Intensity- increasing the magnitude of your effort, but targeted through your repetition of technique
What usually happens when people first start boxing is, they put their heads down, and they punch until they can’t punch anymore (not very long either). They immediately skip the mind and technique steps, and justify their ignorance in repetition. When repetition isn’t producing the desired results, we immediately do it harder, increasing intensity. The few who can endure the wrong mind, the wrong technique, for a long period of repetition, in high intensity, …they are guaranteed to get INJURED. Repentance, for these, requires them to humble themselves to restart, by getting the right frame of mind, so that they can be taught proper technique, increase in repeated technique, and added upon in intensity.
Coaches are more guilty than students, for not recognizing this process, to grow, increase and add upon their students. If they are coaches, they must have gone through this process, and should be able to personally walk each student towards their own discovery of success. However, in their pride, coaches typically cater to their best performing student, to cut the process short. In a class or group of students, with differing levels of mind, technique, repetition, and intensity, coaches must engage appropriately with their students, for their ability to progress. Likewise, parents must treat each individual child, based on their ability to progress as well.
Now the fun part. How does it apply to the gospel? It’s an easy transition, really:
- Mind = ?
- Technique = Faith (knowledge of the words of Christ)
- Repetition = Hope (exercising what you know, by repeatedly aligning your actions to what you claim to believe. When actions are based on the knowledge of truth, hope increases, and becomes an expectation)
- Intensity = Charity (this is the point of mastery and certainty. You are so confident that your sacrifice is acceptable to God, and aligned with His mind and will, that you are willing to sacrifice all things for the benefit of others- true charity)
I left a question mark for Mind, because I wanted to draw some attention their for a moment. Think about it, what comes before faith? If you guessed “belief,” then you were absolutely correct! (If you didn’t, don’t tell anyone, and just take the credit:)
Everyone, at the beginning of a learning process, must experiment, …even if it is only to believe in a portion of what is offered. There are so many things fighting for your attention, that you are required to use your agency, and choose what you want to give your attention to. If you choose to exercise your belief in a advertisement for a weight loss, it might lead you to purchase a gym membership, gym clothes, gym equipment, only to find out that the advise they are selling you only produces results on a subscription basis. And either you must continue to pay the price, as the price goes higher and higher, or loose the reward. Or you may have been taught poor technique, and that resulted in injury. The point is that either you are being led to truth, or belief. Or you are being led to partial truth, mixed with lies, …dressing you in the robes of unbelief.
In my most recent years, I have chosen to reduce the channels of information, to focus on the areas that I find the most truth, in the greatest of abundance, in it’s most pure form. I have re-evaluated my life to seek to remove unbelief, or false beliefs, in hopes to accumulate more truth, and filter out the lies or mixed truths used by the enemy of my soul. I’d recommend you do the same.
I’ll restate the four step process in order, and then identify it’s antithesis:
- Mind/Beleif- antithesis: Unbelief/false belief/vain or ineffective belief
- Technique/Faith- antithesis: Ignorance of the truth
- Repetition/Hope- antithesis: Fear
- Intensity/Charity/Mastery- antithesis: Anger and Destruction
Now, consider your lives, and ask yourself where your heart is. Are you putting on belief, or unbelief? Is your mind right? Next, where did you learn your technique from? Is it a source that you can trust? If you built upon this source for a long time, will it produce in you a firm foundation of rock for you to build upon? When considering your day in, and day out, ask yourself what you repeat on a daily basis. And then consider what you are choosing to become by what you repeat. And finally, if all of the previous steps have been done properly, you will be able to offer up great sacrifices, and accomplish mighty miracles, in POWER!
Conclusion: We are distracted by many things that are good. We could make better choices by reducing the unprofitable activities, for actions of productivity. However, our best choice would be to focus upon the words of Christ. Doing so will not only produce prosperity in this life, it also produces the greatest potential in the life to come. Good, better, best, …never let it rest, …until your good, is better, and your better, best!