The Hot Tub or the Sauna?

The Hot Tub or the Sauna?

Over the past couple of years, I’ve watched a handful of regulars at the gym. They come every morning, but they only get in the sauna and/or the hot tub and then go home. There’s no swimming of laps, there’s no visiting the weight room to pump iron, and there’s no mileage on a treadmill or spin bike. Their entire workout regimen, as far as I can tell, is to get out of bed, drive to the gym, and sit in the hot tub or the sauna. Some of these people are seriously overweight and in need of a healthy workout, but they sit in the comfort of the hot tub and sauna.

I love the sauna and hot tub; they relax my muscles after my two-and-a-half mile morning swim. However, neither the hot tub nor the sauna move me closer to my fitness goals. They are marvelous recovery after a stringent workout, not substitutes for the workout itself.

I fear many well-meaning Christians simply use the sauna and hot tub. They get out of bed on the Lord’s Day, drive to the assembly, sit in a seat, and that’s it. They expect to grow in Christ simply by showing up. They expect to learn the truth of God by osmosis. They expect to be made holy simply by eating the bread and drinking the wine. They expect to win fruit by Jesus simply by filling a seat on Sunday morning.

Assembling with the saints is vital to any Christian’s life (cf. Heb 10:25), but so is daily living the faith. Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matt 12:50). “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (Jn 13:17). “It is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom 2:13). “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Js 1:22). “The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 Jn 2:17).

Don’t just get in the sauna this week. Get up and do something.

This article was originally written by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., for the weekly newsletter at Church of Christ Deer Park in Deer Park, Texas.

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