I have the good fortune of spending a lot of time each week around the local hockey arena, listening to players and coaches, and learning about life, in general, viewed from a frozen sheet of ice. One of the more peculiar phrases I hear from time to time is, "he is soft."
Let me give you some context for better understanding. If I am talking to coach about one of his players and a minor injury he sustained, he might look at me and say, "well, is he soft?" Or, in evaluating a player that might be trying out for the team and looking at his skills, his drive and tenacity for competition, the coach might say, "he's too soft." So in the hockey world, soft is a derogatory word with a loose definition of being weak, not tough enough to withstand the test, not able to compete at this level.
What made me think about this today was Hebrews 2:1, We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. If we are to drift away from our faith, from our relationship with Jesus, well, in some circles, it could be said that we are getting "soft." Getting soft in our faith, just as in hockey, is a bad thing.
Everyday on earth is a challenge and I thank God daily for His strength in me to stand up to the many challenges that I face. I believe, in someway, that the Lord was telling me I was getting "soft" in my faith and has used this outreach as a way of building my strength and faith in Him so that I might "compete" on the next level in my faith life.
For an athlete to compete on the next level, it requires more strength, skill and commitment. I've been told that building one's faith is much like building a muscle. The more you use it and the more you challenge it, the stronger it gets. I would also like to add one caveat to that line of thought and that is that if you push it beyond your current limits, it will give out! Being strong and bold in your faith is one thing. Being stupid is another! I've learned the hard way- the painfully hard way- that stretching and pushing your faith can have the opposite effect.
So for me, what you are reading today is faith workout. This, along with my daily walk with Jesus and living the principles that I share here, are pushing me to live my faith on a new level and I thank God for that opportunity. I might ask, what are you doing to build your faith today? What are you going to do so that you don't get "soft?"