The Real #10yearchallenge

If you’ve logged onto social media in the last couple of weeks you’ve almost certainly come across the #10yearchallenge. Some social media users are posting a photo of themselves ten years ago alongside a photo of themselves now. It’s been incredibly popular—especially among people who don’t mind how they’ve aged!

Of course, it’s all a bit of innocent fun. But it got me thinking about Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 4:8: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

We spend much of our time trying to improve or enhance our physical appearance. Think of all the time we spend in front of the mirror, exercising, eating right, shopping for clothes that will flatter us or flatten us, or time spent scrolling through social media searching for inspiration.

It’s not inherently wrong to spend time on our physical appearance. It is of “some value”. But it becomes an issue if, at the same time, we are neglecting our spiritual condition; if we are failing to pursue “godliness”, which “has value for all things”.

The real #10yearchallenge is not what we look like physically, but rather our spiritual condition. So, let me ask you: In the last 10 years have you become more like Jesus? Have you experienced more spiritual fruit in your life? And here’s the real test: What would those closest to you say? Would they agree that you have grown in “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23)?

And I guess the more important question is: What are you doing right now so that in ten years you will have grown even more? I’m sure we could all share some things we are doing to stay in shape physically, but what habits and disciplines have we built into our lives to keep us in good spiritual condition? The truth is, as Craig Groeschel says, “The habits you have today will shape who you will become tomorrow.”

So, let me encourage you to take up the real #10yearchallenge. Open up the Bible. Devote yourself to prayer. Get involved in community with other Christians. Find times of solitude and stillness before God. These habits and practices might not feel revolutionary in the moment, but I guarantee that as you persevere in them they will bear fruit over time. They will help you to grow in grace and godliness which brings blessing and benefit “for both the present life and the life to come.

With you on the journey,