When Our True Hero is Not on the Mat

Belts and Baptism

When we train Jiu Jitsu or set a goal of learning and mastering a new skill, we often look for markers of accomplishment.  A belt promotion or stripes are such symbols of progression in the art of Jiu Jitsu. The belt is a representation of the decision, the commitment, the consistency, hard work and sweat and everything that has taken place in order for the student to earn that belt.  However, the focus should not be on the markers of accomplishment or in this case to obtain a new belt, the goal should be the learning of art of Jiu Jitsu.  When we focus too much on the symbol, we forget what it truly represents.

When our focus is on the learning the art of Jiu Jitsu, our professor will take care of the belt promotion.  The promotions will come.

Similarly in our spiritual lives we have symbols in our spiritual journey.  One such symbol is baptism.  I recently had the honor and privilege of witnessing a teammate make the decision to be baptized. We must remember that it is a symbol, an outward physical act that represents what the Holy Spirit was working internally and spiritually, gently drawing and calling, transforming the believer’s heart that culminated into the moment of baptism. It is not the act of baptism that saves us, but it is a finger that points to the heavenly glory of Christ dying on the cross, being buried and being raised which is our salvation.

John 6:44  “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them…”

Self-help books have us believe that we can change our behaviors by simply modifying what we do through will power.  This is where positive thinking and self-help books fail.  The problem is that they only focus on habits and addressing behaviors and instead of understanding that it is a problem with our heart.  If we focus on a bad behavior, it often leads to the problem being exacerbated.  It is an outward manifestation of the diseased heart, a bad tree bearing bad fruit.

“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” – Matthew 7:17
 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

Our focus is not on bearing fruit, our focus is on being connected to the true vine, Jesus Christ. He is the good tree one who transforms our hearts and minds and causes us to bear much good fruit. Only by being in connection to Jesus can we hope to become the men and women He is calling us to be. 

  • Written by Andy Truong

About Andy Truong

Andy was born and raised in the DMV area and has a background in Exercise Science from George Mason University. In addition to BJJ and volunteering in his local church, Andy’s passions include weight training, health and fitness, nutrition, camping, hiking, music, songwriting, guitar, and experiencing new cultures and foods.

Browse More Articles

Effort with Purpose: For His Glory

The Competitive Edge…or Competitive Wedge?

The Day I Quit BJJ

Sign up for Our Newsletter

Connect with us

22446 Davis drive, Ste 153, Sterling, VA 20164


Copyright 2024. All Rights. Reserved.