Spiritual Fitness

dumbbell-1306867-1599x1066My home gym contains everything I need stay in good physical shape. The treadmill, elliptical and boxing bag give me great cardio workouts. The kettle bell, weights and stability ball provide strength training and toning.

A healthy diet filled with the right balance of fruit & vegetables, carbohydrates & protein also contributes to my overall physical health. Avoiding unhealthy foods is a big piece of the puzzle too.

Health experts say that neither exercise or diet alone do the trick. Both are needed to be physically healthy. They also say we must not just do good for our bodies but also avoid the negative — unhealthy foods, overexertion, being sedentary, etc.

In general, we understand the need to operate at our best physically and that it impacts our productivity. We also know that being unhealthy causes our bodies to become overloaded and toxic. Most people at least acknowledge the importance of improved health through eliminating negative habits and increasing positive ones.

No doubt being healthy and strong physically holds tremendous value; however, that value has limits because our physical bodies have limits. Our spiritual health, on the other hand, holds infinite importance since it goes into life beyond the physical we see now and into eternity.

“Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding a promise for both this present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)

Knowing this, how can we make spiritual health a priority?

Like the way I have stocked my home gym for physical fitness, having the right tools and equipment on hand is important for spiritual fitness too. In addition, establishing healthy habits — simply using the available tools — also contributes to spiritual fitness.

With that in mind, consider the following as a sort of spiritual fitness guide:

  1. Know Your Bible Religious Stock ImagesRead the Bible. Open it regularly and read the valuable instructions included inside for living a godly life. Take this knowledge a step further by receiving instruction from godly pastors and teachers to help propel you into higher levels of spiritual fitness much like a personal trainer can take you to another level physically.
  2. Prioritize life around God. Making God one of your priorities puts him at the level of other priorities that fill your time. Instead, plan around God’s will. This puts Him at a higher level and shows He is not an item on our “to do” lists but rather the director of how we spend our time.
  3. Do an attitude check. Regularly assess the state of your heart, your intentions. Does what’s going on inside of you fit with what the word of God indicates about what our attitudes should look like? (Print and read ”Attitude – The Aroma of Your Heart” for a scripture study on what the Bible says about attitude.)
  4. Schedule fellowship. Growth happens best in the company of others. You can read books about personal growth, and you can read scripture about love. You can certainly pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to work in you for change. But what does doing these things really mean if we don’t interact with others? And, we can’t expect fellowship to happen by itself, especially in our busy culture. We must intentionally and deliberately put fellowship on our calendars on a regular basis.
  5. Pursue spiritual health. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else. If you’re doing nothing to change the path of your life, then do something. Set a goal. Have some area in which you are pursuing a more spiritually fit existence. Remember that small steps add up over time to make a huge difference.

Spiritual fitness involves an intentional effort on our parts, as does physical fitness. So take some time today to ask yourself if spiritual fitness is a priority in your life.

DISCUSSION: How have you made God the director of your schedule rather than just an item in it?

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20 Replies to “Spiritual Fitness”

    1. While I can often over-schedule and then miss the chance to move with the Spirit of God in my life, scheduling certainly does help move me forward spiritually, especially when I make a point to schedule that which is eternally important instead of the things that aren't. Thanks for the comment!

  1. Excellent points. Balance and consistency is key on both physical and spiritual fronts. As we get older it does seem we lean more to the spiritual (mental) aspects. A point I would add as a farmer coach – using your training equipment properly is the key to your workouts. Kettles are fine tools in your gym but unless you know how to properly use them you can hurt yourself and possibly others too. The same is true of our spiritual workouts. Reading the Bible without properly studying and meditating on what you read will have little value for you. Attending church and church groups but not engaging likewise produces little fruit. Whether physical or spiritual exercises, it helps to have a "spotter" and/or "coach-trainer" to push us to properly complete our training regimen. Training alone never has the same benefit as when we train with others. Thanks for the reminder

    1. Great addition! Using equipment properly and having a "trainer" are so very important. I'm without a training partner (physically and spiritually) and struggling as result. Timely words, my friend

  2. Really good post here, Kari. I've developed the habit of getting outdoors and away from all of the noise. I tend to gain more clarity and have better conversations with God when I am on a hiking trail or walking at the park. If my schedule gets so busy that I don't have time for getting outdoors, I really start to notice a decline in my thoughts and my tendency to drift away from the Father.
    My recent post A Legacy of Love – Remembering Robert “Papaw” Peek

  3. It is harder for me to do that in the summer kari due to the short amount of time (year-wise) I have to ride. however, i do try to keep a schedule all year round and make sure I have my "God time" early in the day.
    My recent post CrossCountry

  4. Excellent reminder, Kari. It's too easy to get caught up on the outside, to be seduced by the senses, and miss the heart of our Father and where He resides.

    I'm back on track with my study and small group now that the summer is over. Man oh man I missed it.
    My recent post PASS IT ON

  5. I'm glad you put this post on our radar again Kari. I think there are a lot of good comparisons we can make between physical fitness and spiritual. In my experience much of Western Christianity is consumed with (no pun intended) the dietary aspects of spiritual fitness, that is we have access to all kinds of Christian healthfoods, from podcasted sermons to pop-Christian books and public worship services. Unfortunately we often ignore the exercise of those calories that we are intaking and the result is that we end up with spiritually fat Christians.

    Either way we look at it both the intake of spiritual food and the exercise of faith are vitaly important for our spiritual fitness.
    My recent post Seven Prayers for Disabled Refugees from Eastern Ukraine

  6. My first thought is, it is nice to have the tools readily available, but they only help if you use them. THEN I read your entire post and found that was exactly your point. If we don't do the work, we don't get the kind of growth or weight loss or conditioning we desire, physically or spiritually. Thanks. I needed this reminder again today.

  7. I love the scripture you posted, it's my go to for not exercising…just kidding.
    We just picked up a new tool called coaching this past week through our mission. It's a process to get people and myself to the place where I am not just taking about what I need to do but doing it. One of the things they said was we often do not celebrate the small victories and then fall into discouragement and quit whatever it was were aiming for. Good post Kari.

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