Should Christians concern themselves with working out?

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Of course they should

As with many things in life, there are extremes in the area of exercise. Some people focus entirely on spirituality, to the neglect of their physical bodies. Others focus so much attention on the form and shape of their physical bodies that they neglect spiritual growth and maturity. Neither of these indicates a biblical balance. First Timothy 4:8 informs us, “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.” Notice that the verse does not negate the need for exercise. Rather, it says that exercise is valuable, but it prioritizes exercise correctly by saying that godliness is of greater value.

The apostle Paul also mentions physical training in illustrating spiritual truth in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. He equates the Christian life to a race we run to “get the prize.” But the prize we seek is an eternal crown that will not tarnish or fade. In 2 Timothy 2:5, Paul says, “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.” Paul uses an athletic analogy again in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” While the focus of these Scriptures is not physical exercise, the fact that Paul uses athletic terminology to teach us spiritual truths indicates that Paul viewed physical exercise, and even competition, in a positive light. We are both physical and spiritual beings. While the spiritual aspect of our being is, biblically speaking, more important, we are to neglect neither the spiritual or physical aspects of our health.

So, clearly, there is nothing wrong with a Christian exercising. In fact, the Bible is clear that we are to take good care of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). At the same time, the Bible warns against vanity (1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 31:30; 1 Peter 3:3-4). Our goal in exercise should not be to improve the quality of our bodies so that other people will notice and admire us. Rather, the goal of exercising should be to improve our physical health so we will possess more physical energy that we can devote to spiritual goals.

Around this time last year I promised to add some health and fitness posts to the blog but never, as new year’s resolutions often go, followed through.

For the coming year I plan on writing at least one health and fitness post a week but, in the meantime, I was curious about what readers do to get their blood moving or if they had a favorite tip, trick, supplements, recipe, or routine they would like to share.

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Categories: Christianity, Fitness

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21 replies

  1. This is helpful, thank you.
    I’m not a keen exerciser (yet?) but I do try to incorporate ‘incidental exercise’ into my week. I try to walk instead of drive if I can, and take the stairs at work, etc.
    I also limit dairy and gluten in my diet, as this feels less heavy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good stuff. Americans are probably among some of the most unhealthy people on the planet. And yet we are so vain. I hope you would also include the epidemic concerning childhood obesity. You might find some interesting info on the HBO series “Weight of the Nation” on you tube. Will this be a weekly feature? You could call it “Move-it Monday”! I need all the encouragement I can get! Temple maintenance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I am going to try to include some stuff for kids and I am going to do a post every week but probably on Friday because I always do a “Marriage Monday” post. I like the “Move it Monday” idea though and will think about it.

      Americans are out of shape and that bothers me, especially when getting in shape just requires some motivation, some encouragement, and some persistence.

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      God bless,

      James

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, yes we should concern ourselves with good health and exercise! Ai yi yi, I try desperately hard and fail miserably two thirds of the time. 😉

    One thing I really notice, people who are filled with the spirit are filled with life. They glow, they sparkle. You can see it in their face and in their demeanor. This is true of those in their 90’s and even those who are ill. There is a powerful mind/body connection that we barely understand in the Western world, but there is some genuine science that recognizes it. A prayer life for example, actually creates good health within us. A positive attitude helps people heal much better and faster.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well since you ask… I get up and walk to go make coffee then I go back to the living room and sit back down… Here’s the kicker, I get back up and walk to the kitchen and pick up a cup. THEN I pick up the heavier coffee pot and pour some coffee in it. After which I walk back lifting the cup up and down from my mouth to sip.. before I sit back down… it’s a vigorous exercise and gets the heart pumping, I don’t know if some could handle it 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As we age the importance of physical exercise becomes more evident. To put it bluntly, those who reject regular exercise are embracing poor health and an early grave.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 120+ cycling miles per week. Combines indoor trainer and outdoors.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Man at Home and commented:
    Great Read with starting the New Year!!

    Like

  8. Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 barbell routine: steady progress, easy to plan, flexible and quick enough to fit a busy schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Exercise just makes you feel better. The endorphins released from it play a huge role in keeping pain and problems at bay for a little while. Why not take advantage of this “built-in pepper-upper” that God supplied us with? Seems to me that it would reduce the urge towards other pain-numbing addictions (alcohol, drugs, etc.).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Awesome. So glad to come across your blog. You are truly a blessing. One thing that I do, is I always have a cup of water (room temperature or slightly hot) as soon as I get up in the morning. I find that it awakens the organs after such long hours of sleeping. Blessings to you. And thanks for this post. It answered a question for me and gave me peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I first saw this it answered a few questions for me too so I was hoping it would help at least one other person.

      I like the idea of drinking water first thing in the morning, I know too many people who don’t drink enough and should start this.

      Glad you stopped by the blog and are encouraged by what you’ve found here. I have been meaning to add a regular fitness related posts for a while but have never been very consistent with it.

      God bless,

      James:)

      Liked by 1 person

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