Today’s Inspiration. When you’re an endurance runner, it’s likely that somewhere along the way you’ll experience injury. Injuries can occur for any number of reasons, but there were two in particular that took me out of the running the first year I attempted to train for a marathon, mere weeks before the race: misaligned hips and poor form. For me, the problems manifested in severe pain in my left knee. I limped back to my car after completing only 9 miles of the 20-mile training run and my knee protested any further attempts to run for the next several weeks. My hips and my form had defeated me.
But here’s the thing. I love to run. And when I couldn’t run, when my body wouldn’t let me, I hated it. So I sought out ways to keep going. It turns out that what I needed, besides time to heal, was correction. I needed to be corrected.
The Greek root for the word correction used in 2 Timothy 3:16 means “a straightening up again, i.e. rectification” (that’s from Bible Hub).
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (NIV)
I needed to be straightened up again. But I didn’t figure this out on my own.
A few weeks after my injury, I started a months-long process of physical therapy at a place that specialized in working with athletes. It was there that I learned my hips weren’t aligned—something correctable, but I needed others—experts trained in knowing what to do—to help me. These experts, the physical therapists, worked with my muscles, pulling them back into alignment through massage; they taught me how to recognize the misalignment by assessing my posture; and they taught me how to exercise in ways that would minimize and correct the error. My job was to show up—to endure the corrective (often painful) massages, and to practice the exercises they taught me, both in their presence where they could watch and correct me and at home.
And then, another year later, I went back: this time I underwent correction to prevent injury, not to heal from it. I went for a running coach who worked with current and former physical therapy patients. He focused on runners’ form, and this was just what I needed. As a heel striker who tended to roll to the outer edges of my feet when I tired, I had been inflicting injury upon myself. But by working to correct my form with a coach, I learned how to run properly and how to recognize when my muscles tired and my form started slipping. And I was able to train for, run, and complete a marathon.
The author of Hebrews likens the Christian life to training and running a race (Hebrews 12), and just like a runner, there will be times in our lives when we will need correction. Paul says the Bible—all Scripture—is useful for that. For correcting ourselves, for correcting others, for letting others help correct us (this last one has a lot to do with rebuking and teaching, too).
Today’s Challenge. Today your challenge is to pray and ask God to show you if there is anything in your life that needs correcting—and then to listen. Listen to what the Lord has to tell you, and seek out answers—correction—from the Bible in any area he puts on your heart. If you need to, seek out a friend or mentor who can help you in that area, who can work with you to correct the error.
Today’s Participation. Think back to a time you’ve needed to be corrected: Perhaps you always thought the lyrics to a song were different than they actually are, or perhaps you attempted to put together IKEA furniture without following the instructions and ended up with extra pieces. Can you relate this to needing correction in your walk with God? Start a conversation about the concept with a friend using that example, come up with a fun way to depict the need for correction and post it online using #writinglifeaugustchallenge (friend/follow me @rhondalorraineblog if you want me to see it), or simply tell a story about it in the comments below.