My Christian Blog

Fitness: Spiritual vs. Physical       

16 Jul 2020

As I planned out another day on my way to work, the usual thought crossed my mind: When can I fit in a work out? Will I be too busy today to get to the gym? Perhaps I will work out at home tonight after work…

I think every day about exercising my body. I rarely put that much thought into when or how much I will exercise my spirit. After some back and forth in my head, I was sure at least an equal amount of time if not more should be spent exercising my heart and soul in the ways of God.

“And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.” Acts 24:16
To paraphrase Billy Graham, if we all spent a little more time bringing Christ into our hearts, how loving we would be toward one another.

I am not suddenly against physical fitness—Not at all. I truly believe it is honorable to care for the vessel that has been provided to us. But there are things to consider: Is God getting as much or more of my time. And secondly, for what intent do I feel I need to stay so fit?

Am I staying in shape because I want to live longer to make sure I am around for my grandchildren—to be able to play with them, and teach them the ways of God. Maybe some people have jobs where they are required to maintain their fitness. All good reasons.

But are there also times when I feel I need to be fit to look good for others, or even to look good for myself. Do I see myself needing to meet outrageous physical goals so I can feel accomplished, or perhaps have something I can boast about? Now the waters get murky.

I believe challenging myself is a great exercise toward teaching my inner self to be successful in all that I do. All is good. But I, too, have crossed that line into self gratification. It is a sin that is easy to dismiss because it is hard to recognize.
It truly is about balance and intent.

This morning, I imagined Jesus standing before me. In his hands was the book of life, and he was on ‘my’ page. He talked about the many things I did and didn’t do in my life. But of everything in my life that he talked about, he did not say, “I see you ran 2,406 miles in your life. Good job.”

1 Timothy 4:8 states: For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

In conclusion: Yes, I think exercise is important. It helps the health of the entire body, to include heart, mind and soul. It helps the self-esteem. But I must be careful to not cross the line, to be humble, and to ensure I put just as much time and effort into my day planning for and exercising my relationship with God.