I recently got around to getting a gym membership and getting back into shape after 4 years of putting it off. The first few weeks were the hardest. Being motivated to get up and go purposefully make myself tired seemed harder than I remembered. Also, mornings are not my favorite time, but it’s the only time I know I’ll get to the gym. I’ve been going with my good friend Jake which has helped a lot. He has kids and is already used to getting up at horrific hours of the morning. There are some days, though, where I have to go by myself, and there is a stark difference of motivation and performance.
There have been studies that show what benefits there are to having a gym partner. Those trying to lose weight tend to lose more when they have someone encouraging and challenging them to do better. Having a partner also creates higher intensity workouts. You tend to want to be a little competitive when you have someone who has the same goals, which can help you get those last few reps in or jog that extra mile. Accountability is another huge advantage of having someone along side you to help. It’s a lot harder to quit when you have someone counting on you to show up. Skipping out is also easier when no one else will care if you go or not.
As I looked at these benefits it also rang so true to our Christian walk. All of the great things about having a gym partner are the same things that create great Christian friendships. They are necessary and vital to our growth. Without them we put ourselves in danger of becoming stagnant, and are much more vulnerable to attack from the enemy. Having someone to pray for you and talk you through tough times and to celebrate the great times, is priceless.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Solomon knew that, living life alone was a fault of vanity and pride that all proved meaningless. When we choose to live life connected to others we are stronger in our faith. If you don’t already have these kind of people in your life, get to it. You weren’t mean to do life alone!