Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com
When I was in Bible college, I was introduced to the phrase, “All truth is God’s truth.” It seems to originally have come from Augustine in the fourth century. In an overly simplified form, it posits that all truth in any arena originated from God, and therefore all of it works together and, when rightly understood, will not contradict itself. Be it mathematics, Scripture, philosophy, astronomy, biology, if it were possible for us to figure everything out exactly right, it would all work together.
Please do not let your eyes start to cross at this point; the complexity of this column is about to give way to very basic simplicity.
It seems that I, the odd brown guy (half Puerto Rican, one-quarter Lebanese, one-quarter French) write a great deal about racial issues these days, mainly because not a single day goes by without news, social media, entertainment, business, and politics focusing so intently on DEI initiatives, CRT training, and other social engineering programs. Even churches are getting into the act, with one near me getting ready to hold their third annual Confronting Whiteness Conference. I can only imagine the uproar if any church held a Confronting Blackness or Confronting Brownness Conference.
It seems clear to me that there are people who are doing their very best to divide everyone along racial lines and have everyone at each other’s throats.
Enter the gym.
There are truths that one can find in a gym that lay out some excellent lessons for life. In fact, I contend that there are not many places where one can see truth demonstrated more readily than there. I say this as a person who has spent a good deal of time over the last thirteen or so years in gyms all over the country doing powerlifting and will gladly do a show and tell for you of my trophies if you are ever in my area and want to pretend to be interested in such pretentiousness.
The first truth from the gym is that there is exactly one person who is responsible for what you become: you. And this mirrors the truth of Romans 14:12, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” If a person is toned and fit and lifting heavy weights, it is because of the work they have put in along the way. If a person spends all of their time at the pizza buffet instead, they have no one to blame but themselves. Everyone in every life faces obstacles; absolutely everyone. But the wise ones make a way to overcome those obstacles rather than making excuses.
The second truth from the gym is that real respect is both earned and color-blind. This mirrors the truth of Acts 10:34, “God is no respecter of persons.” In the gym, I have never seen a single person who cared about skin color; they only care about effort and results. When a black guy makes a big lift, everyone congratulates him, and it goes the exact same way when a white guy or brown guy makes a big lift. No one asks where you are from or what you have been through in life; no one really cares about that. They just respect the obvious work it took for you to get strong.
The third truth from the gym is that people are very much not concerned about quotas. When someone is about to lift an extremely heavy weight and needs a spot, they do not look around for a tiny lady or a very old man or a guy with only one leg and one arm to make sure everyone is well represented. They look around for someone strong enough to help get the weight off and keep them alive if things go badly. This mirrors the truth of Judges 20:16, where we are introduced to seven hundred left-handed warriors who “could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.” It was not their left-handedness that elevated them; no one cared about that. It was the fact that they never missed a shot.
The fourth truth from the gym is that in the absence of professional muck-stirrers, people are really pretty nice. That huge black gentleman lifting a ton of weight? If you politely approach him and ask, he will gladly help you understand the machine you want to use. That massive white guy with the beard? He will almost assuredly give you a spot if you need it. This mirrors the truth of Proverbs 26:20, “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.”
The fifth truth from the gym is that people expect good manners; it is part of gym etiquette. You are to tidy up after yourself. You are to put the weights back in their proper spots so the next person has easy access to them. You are not to sit on a bench or machine playing on your phone. You are to clean your sweat off of things. Good manners earn respect and cordiality in any context. And this mirrors the truth of 1 Corinthians 15:33, “evil communications corrupt good manners.”
So, I guess what I am inferring is that you can get way better and more godly guidance on how to build a peaceful society from the gym than you can from Ivy League schools, self-adoring legacy media types, social media influencers, and even churches who have forgotten that God provided a text-book for them.
And you thought weight lifters were just low IQ-grunters.
Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his books are available by clicking the “Store” link above.
Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner