I am a certified personal trainer, having received my certification is with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). In the years I worked as a personal trainer, one of my objectives was to help my clients to see their lives transformed through exercise, to see changes in their physical bodies, whether that meant weight loss, muscle gain, or both. I have a t-shirt that I received from ACE that bears the slogan “Change – One Rep at a Time.” Change in our bodies is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is the result of lots of small steps, steps taken one at a time.
This is also true in our spiritual lives. The transformation of our spiritual lives, of our souls, does not happen completely overnight. It begins when we confess that we are sinners and that we are in need of a Savior. That Savior is Jesus Christ, who died to free us from the penalty of our sins. When we confess our sins, accept Jesus as our Savior, and choose to follow Him, our sins are forgiven, we receive the gift of salvation, and our transformation begins. One step at a time, we become more like Him and less like the sinners that we were.
Once we take that first step of accepting Jesus, we need to continue to take steps towards becoming a changed person, a person more like Christ. How do we become more like Him? Change comes by having the mind of Christ. To know the mind of Christ, we need to learn more about Him. We can do that by studying Scripture. God’s Word is our guidebook for life and, through that Word, we learn who Jesus is and how we can be more like Him. Another step that we need to take is to ask for God’s help. We do that through prayer. God loves to hear from His children and that is what we are when we are followers of His Son, Jesus. Prayer changes us. When we pray, we are spending time in God’s presence. When we spend time in His presence, we are changed (2 Corinthians 3:18).
A third step that we can take in becoming more like Jesus is to develop the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus was the perfect example of these things. Looking at the way in which He lived His life while here on earth can help us to understand what these things look like. But we cannot achieve them on our own. That is why God gave us His Holy Spirit. We need to seek the help of the Holy Spirit in order to develop the fruit in our lives.
We can change our physical bodies through exercise done one “rep” at a time. We can change our spiritual bodies, our souls, one “verse,” one “prayer,” and one “fruit” at a time. When we do, we shed the old us and replace it with a new creation, one that is more like Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). And, when that happens, we can help others to become more like Him as well. We can help to grow His kingdom, one “life” at a time.