As the contestants on the Australan 'Biggest Loser' TV show compete for the prize of being the last 'loser' (of weight) still standing, I've been watching. I found myself intrigued by the role of the coach. At first the participants have no idea what they are capable of. It is the coash who sees their potential from the start. The coach's job is to get more out of them than they ever dreamed they could have achieved.
Throughout the series, the transformation in the participants has been remarkable. From people with low self-esteem and a track record of failure, self-confident, 'can do' individuals are emerging boldly into the light of day. All of them are notching up landmark physical and psychological achievements along the way. Every contestant has done great things to be proud of.
In all this the contribution of the coach is crucial.
In the Christian life, the Holy Spirit, who is 'God alongside', is our coach. Seeing more potential in us than we can imagine, and knowing how to draw it out of us, the Holy Spirit challenges, chastizes, comforts, and consoles us to stretch out for our very best. This 'very best' is nothing other than Christ in us: the fulness of God's purposes being worked out in our lives.