skin in the game

By now the inevitable has happened. It’s late February, Valentines Day has come and gone and with it many of our New Year’s resolutions as well. It hasn’t been as easy to get up and go work out. We haven’t had the will power to say no to the Valentines Day candy that was 300% marked down on February 15th. Some of us have even been forsaking that gym that we joined on January 1st even though it’s just a few blocks from our home. And this isn’t meant to be a criticism, but rather a confession. I’m in the same boat as you. In fact, I’ve even been contemplating cancelling my gym membership. But, mainly I am doing this because I plan on joining a gym that’s closer to my house;).

I love the idea of a gym membership. I am going to pay you in order to hold myself accountable for coming to your facility in order to inflict pain upon myself that will hopefully pay off in me being more fit and healthy. But if I don’t show up, I’m still paying for you to exist. And I think this is the plan for a lot of gyms. We will keep the rate just low enough so that if you don’t show up, you don’t feel guilty for not showing up. I think I have found myself in this category a lot. But what does a gym membership ultimately ask of us? It really asks are you concerned enough about your health that you are not only willing to invest your time, but also your resources to make a difference.

I’m about to make a leap here that I hope a few of you can follow me on. I believe that many people who attend church from time to time don’t believe that the church can actually change who they are. Sure they attend and sometimes feel better about themselves, but there is no real investment. They don’t volunteer with any programming and they can’t remember the last time they tithed. They don’t have skin in the game…and really it’s a statement as to whether or not they actually believe in the mission of the church and its ability to transform their lives. There’s this one passage in Malachi where the prophet actually invites us to test what our tithing/investment might result in from God, “ Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (Malachi 3:10).

So I guess the question before us today has very little to do with a gym membership or New Year’s resolution. But rather, do we believe in the mission of the church and whether or not the church can transform our lives enough to get skin in the game? I plan on getting back in the gym sometime this year, but I plan on giving a lot more of my time, money and resources to the living embodiment of Christ that I know can make a difference in not only me, but the whole world.

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