[vimeo id="100988955"] People often talk about working out being a physical discipline, but could it possibly be a spiritual discipline as well? I’ve thought about this for sometime now and did some reading-up on it, and I do believe that working out can have some spiritual benefits as well.
Here’s what I mean:
First, the Bible says that physical exercise is good. Paul talks to Timothy about the necessity of spiritual disciplines, but also says that bodily training yields some value as well. I think that Christ-followers can sometimes overlook this and rule out that it’s not necessary to exercise since godliness is what matters anyway. Well, not exactly. While godliness is definitely most important, physical training is also valuable according to Paul. Again in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul makes the comment that we need to glorify God with our bodies. He says we were bought at a price and we are not our own. I think in part this speaks to the fact that we need to be good stewards of our physical bodies, and part of that stewardship is to exercise.
Second, physical exercise helps cultivate other disciplines. If we cultivate a discipline in one area of our life, we will learn to develop disciplines in other areas. Once we understand the benefits of being intentional in one area, we’ll want to be intentional in other areas. In other words, what if you would create a discipline of reading your Bible and praying for a half an hour a day? I think you would begin to see some significant improvements in your spiritual life. The point is that, disciplines in the long run help people reach their goals and develop in their divine design.
Third, physical exercise contributes to your overall health. I’m not just talking about physical, but also spiritual. When we workout, we’re putting our flesh into submission. I think that if we learn to discipline out bodies, we can learn to deal with temptations in our lives. Since most sin is actually self-serving and usually just pleases our selfish desires that are embedded in our body, physical exercise helps us keep it in submission. Not only that, but working out actually provides an outlet for our body to release stress and tension. I wrote about that not too long ago – you can follow a link to that post.
Well, I hope I’ve encouraged you today and given you some good pointers as to why you should work out. If you have some follow up thoughts about these ideas, I’d love to hear from you. Just write me a message below. Thanks again and have a great day!