Day 3: Cycling and Discipleship – Actions speak louder than words
The definition of a Christian disciple is one who accepts and assists in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ. As a disciple of Christ, we often think of the ‘great commission’ as pouring out the word of God to our friends or even strangers in an effort to have them accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. A worthy cause no doubt, and certainly one way to get the job done. However, we can’t always be speaking the word into our neighbors, co-workers, and friends every second, especially on a cycling ride! That just isn’t practical.
As a follower of Christ (a disciple), we are required to learn from and grow into ‘Christlike’ character. Herein lies one of our greatest tools to spread the gospel, our character and actions. All too often, we forget the most powerful form of being a disciple, leading by example. Can discipleship take place without words or even through something like cycling or biking? You bet.
‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery instead be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Ephesians 5:18-19
We see here Paul contrasting someone’s old life with that of the new life found in the salvation of Christ and the Holy Spirit. ‘Drunk on wine’ is referring to the old life of selfish desires and false fulfillment, and ‘Being filled with the Spirit’ as the new life in Christ that offers everlasting joy and peace. Basically, it’s a totally new perspective and one we often don’t acknowledge in our daily lives enough.
That is why Paul is compelling us to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” He isn’t saying that we need to discuss spiritual matters at every instance. Rather, he states that we need the spirit to permeate everything we do and say with an attitude of joy, thankfulness to God, and encouragement to others! Our lives have been forever changed, so shouldn’t our attitudes and actions? The answer of course is yes, and it is this display of Christian attitude and character that has the greatest power to bring people to Christ on or off your bicycle.
Leading by example with your attitude and character founded in Christ will bring the greatest influence to people far from God. Jesus didn’t just tell us to serve; he served! He didn’t just say pray; he prayed daily and faithfully! You see, He is our example, and we need to be the example for others so that they too can come to Christ.
Every time we show up for the group cycling ride we have decisions to make. Do we join in on the dirty gossip? Do we wine about our job, curse our bosses, or the bad weather? Or do we let the Spirit fill us so that we share an attitude of joy, thankfulness, and shine a light for others to see? Maybe its how you act when someone cuts you off, or a vehicle gets too close. Maybe your the guy that volunteers to sweep the cycling route more often, or tune beginner’s bikes for them. It’s not the easy route, but you can count on people taking notice. It’s real leadership at its core just like Christ. That’s the idea behind Ascend Sportswear and our cycling and biking jerseys. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder on your chest about who fills your cup and how much of a gift we’ve been blessed with. Other time’s we need to remember of the Strength or Armor of God we have at our resource. So next time you are out cycling or on your bike remember actions always speak louder than words! Your actions have eternal influence.