In yesterday’s post, I provided Scriptures where Paul and the unknown author of Hebrews use exercise as a metaphor to teach biblical truth. The Bible nowhere commands exercise (some would seek to take 1 Cor 6:19-20 out of the context of sexual immorality and apply it broadly, but I simply don’t think the context allows that), and whether or not one exercises is his own decision.
However, I do believe that exercise has helped my spiritual walk, and I’m convinced that every Christian’s walk can benefit from regular exercise. Let me tell you why:
God created the body.
When I properly use my body, I’m honoring God as the creator of my body. Keeping my body healthy acknowledges God as the giver of the body.
I have more opportunity for service.
Barring some accident or terminal disease, regular exercise should keep my body on this earth longer than not exercising. God will be able to have my hands and feet as His instruments longer if I take care of myself.
My mind clears with exercise.
You, like I, surely have a great amount of stress in your life. Exercise releases my stress and allows me to think more clearly. Thinking more clearly allows me to make better decisions. Making better decisions helps me honor God more fully.
Exercise gives me time to pray.
I like being disconnected for a while each day – no text messages, no email, and no social media. Swimming gives me the perfect chance to be by myself and to pray. I get going so fast sometimes that the thoughts become scattered, but as I’m warming up I have the perfect time to pray.
I get to meet new people.
Going to the gym gives me a perfect opportunity to meet new people. Some people baffle me – there are some people who rudely refuse to share their swimming lanes. I’ll share with anyone, and I’ve had many opportunities to meet people and to strike up conversations. Very quickly those conversations can turn to spiritual matters.
I feel better.
As a general rule, I don’t feel good. But, after I’ve swum, I feel much, much better. Feeling better allows me to do more for the cause of Christ that day.
I’m very religious in my exercise routine (see what I did there?). I pray that you, too, might find spiritual benefits in exercise. God bless!