Cheer On Each Other’s Races

Occasionally, social media proves it’s actually good for something, and a fine example is when someone mocks an overweight person working out.

Take this guy:

This is inspiring. It puts to shame most of our excuses. Who cares where his starting point was? He’s heading in the right direction. And decent people cheer him on, as they should.

But there’s always some shock-value specialist, lurking in the drifting shadows of the Twitter wasteland, who decides it’s all just too positive and rushes in to kick sand into the goodwill oasis – with words of mockery.

Mocking his size. His pace. His form. His progress. His skin color. Whatever is attackable. With cruelty they wouldn’t dare

runnerThen comes the rare instance where Twitter can be relied upon to make itself useful: they’ll blast this cruel peanut gallery. Knock them back a few pegs. This man is taking charge of his life, they’ll say. He’s bending his mind and body to improvement, no matter the grade of the hill. Why should he be shamed for that? (I’m making these defenders sound polite.)

They’re tilting at windmills, of course, because the peanut gallery’s appetite for brazen tastelessness knows no bounds (they’re what keeps Family Guy and the Deadpool franchise going). It’s easy to get angry with them.

But perhaps we should feel sorry for them, too. As one of Dre’s respondents said,

“Dawg u lapping everyone who’s sitting on the couch rn keep up the hustle”

Or perhaps Jesus said it best:

The Pharisee took his stand, and was praying like this: ‘God, I thank You that I’m not like other people — greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’

“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me — a sinner! ’

I tell you, this one went down to his house justified rather than the other; because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:11-14)

Jesus argues that the slow man who humbly runs his race is closer to God than the speedy man who criticizes from the bleachers. 

Cheering on each other’s races is in diametric opposition to judgmentalism. There’s just no room to do both. When we look down on struggles that we are not experiencing, we join the peanut gallery.

And we reveal our own lack of spiritual fitness: pride.

And our blindness: to the pride, and to our other sins, and to Whose power lifted us out of the sins we have beaten. When we see our sin, how can we possibly judge?

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1)

Let’s leave the peanut gallery for the great cloud of witnesses. Gyms and Christianity should be judgment-free zones.

 

I’m glad you tuned in today. If you found this post to be of value, please feel free to share it on social media. Thanks a bunch!

2 thoughts on “Cheer On Each Other’s Races

  1. Amen! We each have our own trials to face and each trial comes with it’s own level of difficulty. Some have a steady uphill climb, others are so steep we’re tempted to give up. Yet, sometimes we never know the level the next person is experiencing; all we see is the pace they’re moving. We’re tempted to focus on their current behavior instead of trying to see where they’re at in their spiritual growth.

    Liked by 1 person

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