“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV)
In exercise, form comes first. Whether you are an Olympic swimmer, a yoga guru or a weekend jogger, your form matters. It matters a lot. How you do your exercise — the motions and mechanics of your body movements — affects the results you receive (or fail to receive). Moreover, if your form is wrong, you can end up hurting yourself or someone else.
Take weight-lifting, for example. When you lift weights, form is paramount. Any decent trainer will tell you that. Correct form is more important than the amount of weight you lift, and correct form is more important than the number of repetitions done. Why? Because if your form is wrong, you not only fail to exercise the muscle group you desire to exercise, but you also run great risk of injuring yourself … or someone else.
And so it is with love. Love is paramount to followers of Jesus. Love comes first. If the things we do and the things we say are not rooted and grounded in love, then they can be harmful. If our practices — even seemingly good ones — are motivated by something other than love, after time we can end up hurting ourselves … or someone else. Just as we constantly check our form as we workout, we constantly need to check our motives and intentions. Are they based in love?
So the next time you are working out, pay attention to your form … and use it as an opportunity to consider the “form” of your heart.