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It has always caught my attention how severe we view the shortcomings or flaws in others while downplaying our own issues. Psychologists have long said that the things that annoy you most in others are qualities you may share, but disapprove of. No matter how severe the weakness or imperfection, something we all have in common is having to fight against a sinful nature [Ecclesiastes 7:20].

A surprising number of strangers I engage in conversation profess to have a church background, although they no longer actively identify with a church or specific faith. They may hold strong to their principles on abortion, prayer in schools or a biblical definition of marriage, but yet make very little effort to strengthen their spiritual life.

If I were a sports analyst instead of a pastor, part of my job would be to watch footage and know techniques and plays in order to have sufficient knowledge in my field. I may be able to recite facts and figures about the world's best boxer, tell you statistically what his best moves are and what his greatest technical weaknesses are, but put me in a ring with him and I stand no chance of winning. There comes a point where knowledge requires action.

Thankfully I am not in a boxing ring with a heavyweight champion, but I do face an adversary every day in my spiritual life [1 Peter 5:8]. Simply knowing about the devil and his weaknesses does not put you in a good position to fight him. There is learning, training and time required in order to be successful in this fight. Fortunately, God's strength is made perfect in our weakness and we can live an overcoming life [2 Corinthians 2:19].

If you want to get in physical shape, you can join a gym. If you want to get in shape spiritually, please accept my personal invitation to Christian Life Center this Sunday. We believe in living a powerful and overcoming life through the promise of God's spirit [Acts 1:8]. We have some great new programs and events designed to encourage you and strengthen your family. Our worship services are powerful, the sermons are relevant and we have great classes for children and teens. We look forward to seeing you soon!