I have been labeled and called many things in my 25 year career as a fitness instructor. It baffles me still to this day to think that people who demonstrate good posture and alignment are referred to as being too confident in their own abilities and unapproachable. The fear factor is the one that really rouses my curiosity and makes me laugh to hear someone say, " I don't go to your classes because I am afraid of you."
There was a time years ago before Pilates became popular when people thought I was "too easy" as an instructor since I incorporated a lot of floor and core work into my classes. If you were to ask my students who took my classes back then what I talked about during each class you would hear them say, "she always reminded us of the importance of maintaining good posture and standing up tall with the belly scooped in." This posture and alignment preaching while teaching was heard before talking about good posture became popular.
Back in those days, I was actually reprimanded by my supervisor for continually reminding students to maintain excellent posture while exercising. Today, every magazine or book that writes about fitness always addresses the importance of great posture, alignment and core strength.
One of my favorite names was given me by a dear friend of mine in my mid thirties. I had begun running before teaching my classes each day and had started to enter some local 5K races. As the years went by and I progressed as an instructor and a runner, I was labeled "Marathon" by her and my students. She had a good heart and meant this name as a compliment not to hurt me or discourage me.
She was and still is the exception to the rule when it comes to name calling, she cared deeply about me and my family and still does to this day as she prays for me all the time. She still refers to me as "Marathon" although my physical days of running are over. I believe she knows of a different race the Lord has me in and she cheers me on as I press forward to finish the race with excellence and great posture.
We each have to be careful when labeling or calling a person by any other name than the name the Lord has given us. The tongue has the power of curses and blessings. We should each strive to bless those and not offend our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Being a wellness coach and instructor you sometimes get labeled as a drill instructor, hard core, shows no mercy, aggressive, to be feared, arrogant, pushy, full of yourself, to name just a few. Some names I cannot print due to the negative or cruel meaning behind the words. The media hasn't helped when it comes to this subject.
The television show, The biggest loser is one example of instructors yelling, cursing and screaming at people to get them motivated to lose weight. It would be interesting to get the cameras on a faith based fitness class and see how God works at motivating His people to take care of their bodies.
This may not be appealing to the viewer since none of the negative stuff goes on.
I am certain people do not intentionally try and hurt others by referring to them by a different name, but, shouldn't we pay attention to what we call people? Are we not called to live and speak at a higher level when it comes to our walk with the Lord.
Doesn't this higher level address our tongue and also what we say about ourselves? We each have to be careful when labeling or calling a person by any other name than the name the Lord has given us. The tongue has the power to curse and to bless people. We should strive to bless and not offend our brothers and sisters in Christ, even if we are sort of joking. Out of the mouth the heart speaks.
When someone calls me something that my spirit does not agree with I will now say something in response. I usually say, "I don't agree with you and I am not that person or that way." Maybe I used to be like that years ago, but not anymore.
Sometimes I will physically make a hand motion like I am grabbing those words that were directed at me and catch them in my hands and them throw them over my back after I say, "I do not receive that!" This usually gets the persons attention and they are most of the time left speechless. This works well with most people. There are always exceptions to the rules.
Some people just don't get it and cannot see how they might have offended someone by the negative words they spoke or continue to speak.
Understanding our identity in Christ is absolutely necessary for living a life of Victory. Regardless of someone's' opinion of me or you, what really matters is who the Word says we are. Our identity comes from what God has done for each of us and what God says we are. Our belief about who we think we are determines our behavior and destiny.
Here are several powerful scriptures to let us all know Who we are in Christ.
Read these verses out loud to yourself each day and watch and see the transformation that will take place inside your heart knowing who you are in Christ Jesus!
John 1:12...I am God's Child.
Ephesians 1:5...I have been adopted as God's child.
Philippians 3:7-11.. Our confidence comes from knowing Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 1:17...I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.
Philippians 3:13... I can do all things through Christ as He strengthens me.
Acts 1:8... I am a personal witness of Christ Jesus.
John 15:16... I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
Psalms 139:14... I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Romans 8:1-2...I am free forever from condemnation.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22...I have been established, anointed, sealed by God.
Matthew 5:13-14...I am the salt and light of the earth.
Ephesians 2:10...I am God's masterpiece created to do good things He planned long ago.
1 Corinthians 3:16...I am God's temple.
Ephesians 3:12...I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Jeremiah 29:11... God has plans to prosper me and to give me a future and a hope.
1 John 5:18...I am born of God, the evil one cannot touch me.
Hebrew 4:16...I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
Philippians 1:6...I am confident that God who began a good work in me will carry it out to completion.
I am confident through Christ that one day people will refer to me as a "Warrior" for Christ and that those who say they fear me or don't know who I really am, will show up for my classes ready for a challenge. "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
To God be the glory and the honor for ever and ever!