One time several years ago, I was at the local YMCA and while doing my little workout eavesdropped on a couple of guys doing their big workout.
And one said to the other, “If you work on the stuff no one sees, you really help what everyone sees.”
In other words, if you want big chest or arms (which people see), then get to work strengthening your back and legs and abs (which people rarely see).
It’s counter-intuitive, paradoxical, nonsensical . . . and eerily accurate. Through the years, I’ve noticed that people who take it seriously spend a lot of time on the “non-glory” muscle groups while the pretenders drop in on occasion, work on chest and arms, and then exit stage left.
If you work on the stuff no one sees, you really help what everyone sees.
How true that is of faith, Scripture, Spirit, and what we call a living relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you spend time in Scripture and prayer while away and alone , if you give anonymously rather than publicly, if you fast regularly, if you serve without posting it on Facebook, then and only then will people see the fruit of your spiritual habits.
If you have any desire to be known as Christian or faithful or simply one who loves Jesus well, it’s not a light you turn on when you open the front door of your home.
It is instead a process, begun in solitude, maturing in silence, and faithful in study . . . none of which are visible, and all of which move you to maturity.
It’s true at the gym, it’s true in life, it’s true in faith: if you work on the stuff no one sees, you really help what everyone sees.