Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fitness - Body & Spirit

Before I began working in ministry full time, I was a full-time personal trainer and fitness instructor.  I would also do presentations at corporations, schools and fitness centers to educate and encourage people about the importance of physical fitness and how to work the discipline into their lives.  I had a pretty serious battle with obesity in the early 90's after giving birth to my son and through a change in my activity level and some life-style changes with my diet, I was able to lose the weight.  I still teach fitness classes part time and find tremendous accountability and pleasure in this.


I've noticed that since becoming a believer and an encourager for others as a speaker/writer, the disciplines are very similar in both physical and spiritual fitness.  I even wrote a book about it a few years ago called Body Builders.  I wanted to jot a few of these similarities down for you to see for yourself.  Maybe you are struggling with keeping your commitment to be more physically fit this year or maybe it's the spiritual fitness you are struggling with?  No matter what, I pray these scriptures and observations will encourage you to continue running the race!
  • They both take a lot of work and self-discipline (Philippians 2:12-13)
  • There is no quick fix for either. (Philippians 1:6)
  • You need accountability in both areas to succeed. (Hebrews 10:25)
  • It's easy to make excuses not to do either one. (Proverbs 12:15)
  • The benefits far outweigh the demands. (1 John 5:12)
  • Physical and spiritual fitness do not take time from your life - they put life into your time. (John 14:6)
  • You need rest to recover both physically and spiritually.  When you pour out, you need time for re-filling. (Psalm 90:17)
  • Lifting will make you stronger in both.  In physical fitness - lifting weights; in spiritual fitness - lifting His Name (1 Timothy 2:8).
  • We should not compare ourselves with others in either one, for we are each designed specifically by God for the purpose He has for our lives. (Galatians 6:4-5)
  • It's easy to get over-zealous about either physical or spiritual fitness and alienate those around us inadvertently. (Romans 10:1-4)
  • Both are extremely beneficial in growing our confidence. (Proverbs 3:25-26)
  • It's inspiring to see someone who is succeeding in being spiritually or physically fit. (Proverbs 28:12)
  • It's always a struggle in the beginning, but once you start to see and feel results, you wonder how you ever lived without it. (Joshua 1:7-9)
I know I've probably missed some, but these are the ones that come to my mind as I think of the similarities.  Maybe you can think of more?  If so, please leave them in the comments section below! One thing I know - without God's help in both, I'd be a mess.  He is the One who gives me strength to fight the battle and equips me along the way, both physically and spiritually.

1 Timothy 4:8 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.  

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