One of the things I find most fascinating is how differing teams, coaches, programs, and athletes tend to interact with one another. Some choose to turn their back on each other, shun, and live in complete disdain to anything that is different from themselves. Others, who I would consider to be the wiser of the two, learn from others especially those who are doing things a little different from them.
This reality dawned on me this morning as I was reading in Acts 15,16, and 17. Granted, the situation was a little different in the early church and the truth that Paul and Barnabas are sharing is not debatable. That being said in Acts chapter 17 Paul and Barnabas traveled to the city of Berea. After having being forced out of Thessalonica by the Jewish leaders in the synagogues for preaching the message of Christ, they were met with a completely different response in Berea. In the city of Berea, the Bible details the Jews as as “noble” because they listened intently to what Paul and Timothy had to say and studied the Scriptures with considerable vigor. These men were educated, intelligent, practiced Jewish leaders who knew a lot about the truth of Scripture. However, they were not ignorant nor close-minded enough to listen to what Paul and Barnabas had to say. Unlike the Jewish leaders in Thessalonica, these leaders are called noble by the Bible for their willingness to look outside of what they assume to be true. The reality in this situation is that what Paul and Barnabas preach has its footing from the mouth of the omniscient God. It’s impossible to argue against such a unbeatable source of knowledge.
That being said this section of Acts reminds me of two very important things. First, nobility is marked in the Bible by those who study the Scriptures. A believer who counts oneself as one of Christ disciples must be embedded and consumed by the word of God (John 8:31). Secondly, the Jew’s openness to something in slight opposition to their beliefs is a good reminder to me that in the fitness world there are multiple ideas and theories and programs to learn from and listen to. It would be ignorant and ill-advised to ignore the rest of the fitness world for the sake of exalting my beliefs as the only way. If you are not listening, intaking other ideas, or learning from others then you are remaining stagnant and will soon be passed up by those who are.