Why do you workout? Why don’t you workout? A friend of mine asked this question on social media recently and I found myself reading through the comments that others posted. I wasn’t surprised by the response that I read. Some people wrote that they just love it while others workout just to stay healthy or to maintain weight. Some people even wrote about how great of a stress relief it can be or how it helps them fight depression.
According to the Mayo clinic exercise helps to control weight, combat health conditions and diseases, improve mood, boost energy, promote better sleep, help spark your sex life, and it can be fun. Out of all of the responses and the article by the Mayo clinic, no one mentioned completing a workout to spend time with God or that they workout to glorify God.
There are definitely endless benefits that one can receive from physically exercising their body, but what if it wasn’t just about exercise. What if you invited God into your workout? What if instead of focusing on yourself, you asked God to meet you there and reveal Himself to you?
As Christians, our mission is to create disciples for Christ as we see stated in Matthew 28:19, but each of us is called to do this in a different manor. For some of us this means working as a pastor or in a church, but for most of us, we are called to do this through being police officers, doctors, accountants, teachers, baristas, stay at home moms…the list goes on. In order to carry out our mission and show others the love of Christ, we need to properly fuel our body, mind, and spirit. If we fail to honor God with our bodies, we may miss out on opportunities to proclaim the goodness of God. Exercise not only helps to keep our bodies strong, it also helps us process and relieve stress. The benefits of being physically active are endless. But what if we tied in the benefits of caring for our bodies through exercise with caring for others and using it as a tool? What if exercise was used as a vessel to serve God and others?
As we see from 1 Timothy 4:8, bodily training does have value and it is important, but when we leave this earth our bodies will not be going with us. Does this mean that we should not take care of our bodies since they are only temporary? No. We should view fitness as a tool, a vessel to serve God and others. Fitness should be used to help us care for ourselves so we can care for others. Physical exercise is also a great way to let God work in your heart. When we spend time exercising and meditating on how wonderfully God has created our bodies, it can lead us to a place where exercise becomes more than just moving and getting stronger, it becomes a means of praising God for the way that we were created.
How would it change your workout if you invited God to join you? How would it change the way you see yourself?
“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” 1 Timothy 4:8 (ESV)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19 (ESV)