- Melinda K. Bowens
Sweet Spot, Turned Sour
#BreakingTheCycle: Sweet Spot, Turned Sour
If any of us have ever needed to get into the groove of anything, like working out for example, we know what it’s like to finally find our routine. We find that gym that has the best fitness classes or that park that has the best walking trail. And finally we get a schedule that works for us; nothing too early in the morning, but nothing too late in the evening either. We just find our exercise niche and it feels awesome! (I’m supposed to be training for a half marathon, so I’m trying to be positive about this consistent workout life. lol!)
But if any of us have ever worked out for a given period of time, we also know that after a while that perfect rotation we created isn’t as beneficial as is once was before. Those classes that seemed to challenge us the most in the beginning become almost robotic in a sense. Those go-to exercises that used to provide amazing results fall flat after a time. Trainers (and by trainers, I mean Bob from the “Biggest Loser” because he’s my favorite) call this period a “plateau;” meaning that our bodies have gotten so accustomed to our workouts that the results stop showing as quickly or at all.
Isn’t that some kind of thank you from our bodies?! But I digress.
Now, the plateau doesn’t have to be the end of our progress (also via Bob), but it will signal the end of our beloved routine. The known remedy to a stalemate in physical progress is to up the intensity of our current program. So maybe we would run further distances or lift heavier weights; just whatever a setup looked like for us.
I know I spent a good portion of this time talking about physical growth and not without reason. Some of us have hit a plateau in our progress, just not with fitness. We’ve hit a plateau with our emotional growth. How is that even a thing?! Well, I’m happy you asked! It’s not that we haven’t done anything when it comes to our inner selves, it’s that maybe we got to certain point and didn’t move forward. We learned to forgive and not hold grudges, but didn’t move on to praying for those who have hurt and wronged us. Or possibly we accepted that we shouldn’t gossip about someone who is causing us pain, but we didn’t sign up for helping that person ease the pain they’re in too.
To ask someone to both forgive the person that hurt them the deepest AND ask them to pray for that same person is a tall order. And honestly, that’s not an easy task. I’m not here to dispute that fact. But I am here to dispute whether or not we get to keep growing and healing if we choose not to up the intensity of our spiritual workout (that was super churchy, but just keep going with me).
We have to really believe that those next steps to get beyond our plateau aren’t about the people who mistreated us. And certainly not because they “deserve” our compassion. But those next steps are about the honest commitment we’ve made to Christ (Luke 11:28). In that agreement, we signed up for a lot of things that don’t always seem like they make sense but we said yes anyway (Luke 9:23). But since we’ve said yes to Jesus, we don’t have to try and conquer these seemingly massive hurdles alone (Philippians 4:13).
The “how” in our plan to get over our plateau is already covered. But are we willing to commit to the next level up in faith?
Chat with God
Which emotional plateaus have you noticed in your life?
Why are these areas more difficult than others?
What is your one sentence prayer for this situation?
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