Friday, April 2, 2010

Teach, Scold, Correct, Train

Shim's so vain, he probably thinks this blog is about him.

Sorry Shim, it's not about you. Though you do all of these quite well -- especially the scolding/rebuking part -- this post's not necessarily about you. But pay attention, I believe you could still learn something, and there may be a quiz on Monday.

The title of this post comes from Paul's second letter to Timothy:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
--2nd Timothy 3:16

I like Paul. He must have been an athlete. A runner, even. There are numerous examples where Paul compares living a holy life to that of running a race. The discipline of being holy is not unlike the training it requires to finish the race strongly.

At bible study last night, we were reading 2 Timothy. In our group discussion, someone mentioned that in order to be ready for the trials of life, one should strive to balance the four ingredients: teach, rebuke, correct and train. For example, one cannot simply teach without having first trained, nor rebuke without encouraging proper correction.

During the discussion, my poorly disciplined mind started thinking about triathlons. In triathlons, one needs to be balanced in their preparation for a race. It doesn't come easy. In fact, I've never met a triathlete who loves all three disciplines of swimming, biking and running. More often, the triathlete excels at one skill and has to really work on the other two. Training requires sticky determination to remain committed to the plan when you'd rather ride on a run day. But if you're not committed, you'll become imbalanced and pay the price. Imbalance leads to poor racing performance, and quite possibly overuse injuries.

Don't let perfection become the enemy of good.
Being balanced will never create perfection. At the pool, I'm not the fastest swimmer. I get dropped all the time on the bike. Gerald Kubiak's presence regularly reminds me that I'm not the fastest runner. But when the race comes, I only need to be among the fastest to compete. I managed to win a triathlon once. I was sixth out of the water, third fastest on the bike and the second fastest runner. But overall, I was the most balanced triathlete that day. In fact, I won the race by over a minute.

Triathlons neatly illustrate the importance of being in balance. But much of the same could be said about how one trains as a cyclist. To be successful, a cyclist needs to train towards different skills, ie: strength/power, handling, endurance, hill climbing, sprinting.

The same could be said about running.

Or about work.

Or about our relationships with family, spouse, children.

Or about our relationship with God. It's a holy week. My Jewish friends are in the midst of celebrating passover. Today is Good Friday and Easter is on Sunday. To this, I've been thinking about how I can become more balanced in my relationship with God. Lord knows, I'm no saint and could use a training plan refresher.

Teach, Rebuke, Correct, Train. All Scripture is God-breathed and useful.

I encourage you to spend some time reviewing your personal training plan. Where can you become more balanced in your life?

Thanks for reading. Happy Easter everyone.


  1. Well written, grasshopper.

    Balance is good, whereas focus on one area (say Canonical Law at the expense of compassion and common sense) is unbalanced, leading to the poor performance you describe.

    Having the wisdom to understand that balance is key is your real enlightenment.

  2. Well done.

    1 Corinthians 9:24-27 comes to mind. What crowns are we racing for?

    I know that, FOR ME, racing became much less desirable when I realized that MY motivations were pretty selfish.

    Here's a little mental exercise. If you achieve everything you could possibly hope to achieve through racing, what will you have gained and what will you have lost?

    For me, the losses outweighed any "crowns" that I could have gained. I think my family is glad that I'm spending more time with them, and less time out training. But then again, I'm also at a stage in life where my family wants me around a lot. Once my kids are older, and off to college, I'll be chasing you guys up the nearest hill (fenders and all).

  3. I don't know about Paul's foot speed but we do know that John outran Peter on his way to the empty tomb(John 20:4). On Sunday I will try to keep the empty tomb in mind more than who wins at Flanders. Good post.

  4. PS. Peter was more of a swimmer than a runner (John 21:7).

  5. For our easter egg hunt we filled most of the eggs with candy, coins, etc...but some were left empty to remind the childern that the tomb was empty. When they would pick them up and tell us that they were empty we asked them why the eggs were empty and I'm proud to report that all four got it right.

  6. P.S. I hear Judas was a swimmer as well.

  7. i heard judas was jumper .... no ?
    too soon?