Strict Training

This week, I will train.

For flawed human beings, Christlikeness is a journey, not a destination.

We’re in training to be like Christ — in the same way that an athlete trains to excel in a sport.

Training isn’t a destination; it’s a journey. It’s ongoing. Yes, Jesus did say, in Luke 6:40, that “everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” But the term trained, in the Greek, is katartizo; and it doesn’t translate smoothly into English. The scholars translated the same word elsewhere in the Scriptures as “mended” — like fishermen whose nets are ripped, and they sew them back together. And they sometimes translated katartizo as “framed” (in Hebrews 11:3), or “fitted” (in Romans 9:22), or “joined together” (1 Corinthians 1:10), or “prepared” (Hebrews 10:5), or “restored” (Galatians 6:1). Katartizo doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It means you aren’t perfect — but you’re being mended. You’re not perfect, you’re being perfected. You’re being fitted together, your torn nets are being mended; you’re becoming the way you were originally intended to be. Katartizo isn’t just about the end product. It’s about the process. We’re in a process of spiritual growth. We’re under construction.

So our modern-day scholars, as they were working on the New International Version, asked themselves, How should we translate what Jesus is saying here, in Luke 6:40? “Every one that is katartizo shall be as his master.” And here’s what they settled on: “Everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” The scholars recognized that in our modern use of the term, training means conforming to the model.

When we stop trying to be like Jesus, and start training … when we let him mend the torn fishnets of our life … when we let him fit us perfectly back together where we’re broken … we’ll be fully trained — and we’ll be like our teacher, in the language of the New International Version. We’ll be like our master, in the language of the old King James Version.

We’ll be like Jesus.

We’ll be the people God originally created us to be.

And as a result of our training, we will be more at peace than ever before, more effective, more satisfied, living a more rewarding life, getting more out of every day, less torn by anxiety than ever before, less troubled by difficult circumstances than ever before. We’ll finally have the God’s eye view of our life and ministry. We’ll have the joy of knowing, deep down inside, that God is in control and caring for us, giving us his very best, absolutely every moment of every day.

And there’s tremendous power in living that kind of life.

My Prayer for the Next Seven Days… Lord, some of the nets of my life need mending. I’m grateful that you don’t expect me to be perfect. But keep me in training. Keep working with me, making me everything you want me to be — for the sake of my ministry, and for the sake of those whose lives I touch. Amen.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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