Have you ever seen Triangle Man? If you’ve ever been to the gym or watched an action movie you probably have. Triangle Men are everywhere. They are people who work hard on their upper body, while ignoring the lower body. As a result, they have broad, muscular shoulders and large arms, with a torso that tapers off to chiselled abs. From the waist up, they look amazing, but there’s something not quite right. Their legs aren’t in proportion to the rest of their body. The phenomenon of Triangle Man is where we get the well-known proverb, “Don’t skip leg day.”
I’ve observed many Triangle Men at the gym, and while I admit a tinge of envy for their well-sculpted upper bodies, they also inspire me to ensure that I work out my whole body properly. In a more meaningful sense, Triangle Men also teach us a key discipleship principle.
If you’ve ever taken any form of discipleship evaluation or progress test, you’ll have noticed that there are elements of your Christian life which are stronger than others, and elements which are weaker. There will be things which God has clearly gifted you with, at which you seem to naturally excel. There will also be things which always seem to be a struggle and therefore it requires a lot of discipline for you to grow in those areas. It can be tempting to focus on our strengths and the things we enjoy doing, but to do so would be to neglect important elements of our discipleship. Don’t skip leg day.
As millennials, we are naturally averse to discipline. As I’ve reflected upon my life up to this point, I’ve realised that I’ve spent much of it coasting on my strengths. I’m 27 now, and by this time next year I’ll be an ordained minister. One of the many things my training has shown me is that I can’t afford to live my whole life without putting effort into developing the weaker areas of my character. I love writing and preaching the Gospel, and those are things God has gifted me to do. However, I’ve always struggled with spending focussed time in prayer. I’ve learned increasingly that there’s no value to me being an excellent communicator if I’m not regularly spending quality time in the presence of my Heavenly Father. I can’t keep skipping leg day.
What about you? What is your spiritual “leg day”? Maybe you’re like me and you’ve survived a long time without putting much effort into developing your weak areas. We all need to wake up to the reality that discipline, much as we seem to reject it as a concept, is vitally important if we want to continue to follow Jesus for the rest of our lives. A few months ago I asked myself the question, “What kind of man do I want to be when I’m 70 years old?” My answer simply put was that I want to be a resilient man; a man who faithfully follows Jesus through anything. If that’s my goal, I have to build things into my life today so that one day I can become that man. What kind of person do you want to be when you’re 70, and what do you need to build into your life now (with the help of the Holy Spirit) to make that happen?