My 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 muscle toning.
A healthy diet filled with the right balance of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, and 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)
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:
- Read 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.
- 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.
- Do an attitude check. Regularly assess the state of your heart and 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? The Aroma of Your Heart (i.e., your attitude) is an essential part of your spiritual fitness; be sure to keep it in shape.
- 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? 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.
- 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.