Day 26: Lift Lingo
I learned quickly that bodybuilding has its own lingo. Words like “swole,” “shredded,” “cutting,” “bulking” and “macros” were all new to me. Also, words that I was familiar with were now being used in different contexts. For example, doing a “negative” meant using the eccentric or muscle lengthening contraction in an exercise move. I remember feeling like I was learning a new English dialect when walking into the gym—almost like I was in another part of the world where English was spoken in a dissimilar way. I gained a lot of new vocabulary during the two years that I competed, including exercise names, muscle vocabulary, health terms and gym slang. And getting certified in Personal Training and Fitness Nutrition opened a whole new world of health science in my life.
Most people at the gym were more than willing to help clarify or explain new terms. They would see the lost look on my face and give me a quick debriefing of what they meant. Some words like “glutes,” “pecs,” and “hams,” were easy to learn and assimilate. However, more complex terms, like “training to failure,” “drop setting” and “high intensity internal training,” took me longer to understand and apply. I remember how confused I felt during my time of growing as a bodybuilder when I meet new Christians. New Believers who did not grow up in the church and are unfamiliar with church lingo may feel like they too are in another country, listening to English spoken in a very unique way. The life of faith is now opened to them, and they are growing as a young Christian just like we all must do.
Christians who are used to church and church lingo should take care when chatting with new Believers or seekers. This doesn’t mean we water down our beliefs, but it does mean we can be aware that others might not understand our lingo. The Holy Spirit does a good job at opening a person’s heart to spiritual truths, and all we need to do is express clearly our words without condescension or judgment. It takes us all some time to learn something new, and faith is something that we will be growing throughout our lives on earth. We can show mercy to each other as we make our way down that faith-paths God has us on. Just like the bodybuilders in the gym who took me under their wing, we can encourage and guide those who are new to faith in Jesus Christ.
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11.33 NIV).
God, open my mind to the richness of Your wisdom and knowledge. I want to know You more and seek You more fervently. Also, guide me to be tender and full of grace when speaking with people who are new Believers to faith. I don’t want to gloss over spiritual truths; rather, I want to express them in a way that is relevant and tangible to them. I know that we are all a work-in-progress. I pray that I will never be critical of where others are on their walks of faith. Help me to offer mercy and kindness to others and to myself. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
- Do you remember a time when faith was new to you?
- How can you help those around you in their Christian walk?
- Do you have a personal faith story that you can share?
Help others grow in the Lord!