Should Christians Work Out? How Health is Relevant to Us

Spidey

Should Christians use the Spidey 4 step get ripped in 30 days workout formula?

1 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV) For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

A fitness post may come as a surprise to some people who are used to the normal posts on here. I’ve undergone some major changes in my health over the years, so  fitness is something that hits pretty close to home.

Gamerfaith isn’t a fitness website, but it is a devotional blog. Health is something that I believe Christians should be  aware of, but it needs to be for the right reasons.

Using Fitness to Glorify our King

Samantha and Jason

My friend Samantha hanging with Jason David Frank at c2e2

1 Timothy 4:8 (seen at the top of the post) is a good reminder to us. Physical fitness should never become an unhealthy obsession, a selfish act, or the number one purpose of our life. Can it be important? Yeah, of course it can, in fact one of my heroes Jason David Frank (You probably know him as the green/white Power Ranger) used his athletic lifestyle in a unique way by creating the “Jesus Didn’t Tap” clothing line (one of the first Christian mixed martial arts clothing lines).

“Jesus Didn’t Tap” refers to the fact that Jesus didn’t give up on his mission.

He didn’t give up in the wilderness. He was strong beyond temptation.

He never gave up in Gethsemane. He submitted to His Father’s will.

He didn’t give up on the cross. He accomplished His mission.


Don’t be confused by this though. While the term “didn’t tap” implies never submitting, Jesus certainly submitted to His Father’s will. He submitted himself to be crucified, and this shows how strong Jesus is. The point is that Jesus didn’t submit to the enemy. He completed his mission despite the difficulty and pain.

If you love fitness (running, sports, weightlifting), consider Jason’s example and use your passion in a way that glorifies our Lord. Pray about it and see if God reveals anything to you.

Being Fit for the Right Reason

It can’t hurt to ask yourself why you want to be fit. Is it because you want to have a clear head, learn discipline, be healthy for your family, honor God with your body?  Those are great heroic reasons!

A piece of advice: If you are working out so you can turn heads on the beach or look great for the ladies… you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Staying humble is important. Remember the “…godliness is profitable for all things…” part of 1 Timothy 4:8. If your fitness is ever causing you to stumble because of a self-centered attitude, you need to reevaluate your goals.

Philippians 2:3-11 (KJV)

[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;

And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Not Falling into the Trap of Laziness

Snorlax

I don’t know about you, but Snorlax isn’t my physical role model.

Proverbs 13:4 (NKJV) The soul of a lazy [man] desires, and [has] nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Bunny  Trail: Note the word soul in the verse above. Time and time again it has been proven to me that money is not what matters in life. Green paper isn’t the most important type of riches.

Back to the point: It’s far too easy to make excuses for why we don’t need to be in shape. Let me tell you right now that whatever the excuse is… (there are more important things, I’m too tired, I really don’t have time, or the boss of them all: I don’t care if I’m fit anymore because TV and junkfood make me happy) …health is important.

You can take 25 minutes to work out, you can overcome tiredness by getting active (often that first 5 minutes when you start is the hardest part), you will almost definitely feel happier if you exercise.

How do I know this? *cue Lost flashback SFX*

When I was in middle school I was obese. I weighed somewhere around 250 lbs. My family often encouraged me to lose the weight, but I snapped back that I was too tired from school to work out. They questioned the quality of food that I ate, but I ignored it. Almost everyday somebody would make fun of me about it at school. This led me to being angry and depressed.

Let me make it clear that I am in no way justifying teasing another person. Teasing and bullying are wrong. On the flip-side though, I was blaming everyone else instead of taking responsibility for the predicament I was in.

At my breaking point a doctor told me that I was in serious danger of health problems later down the line. I finally gave up the excuses, and first and foremost gave my problem to God. To this day I attribute my prayers to God for help to be the number one thing that helped me to lose my weight. Never take God out of the picture. He is there, and He cares for you.

Over the next few months, years, and all the way up until now God has helped me out. I lost close to 100 lbs and have become a huge fan of lifting weights. Recently I’ve been getting more into running because of my friend, Nick. God has worked to lead all the right people into my life at the right times. Because of this I feel closer to God, am in a better mood, and am more sensitive to those around me. Being healthy has changed me for the better.

I’ve learned a lot over the years from God, but here are a few highlights:

  • Never remove God from the equation. He made you and can help you.
  • You can’t outrun your fork. Healthy eating is crucial to being in shape no matter how hard you exercise.
  • You don’t have to be overweight to be a glutton. Think about what you put into your body. Does God approve of overly processed junk with no nutritional value?
  • Our body is made to use water and vegetables (and many other things). If you don’t like them, try to eat them anyways. The right thing isn’t always the most physically pleasurable option. Try to exercise  restraint and discipline. If it’s wrong to scream at somebody because you are upset, then is it wrong to eat trash because you are stressed?
  • Health does not reflect what we see on the cover of superficial magazines in the checkout lane. People are different. Some girls are meant to be bigger (and are still beautiful).  Skipping meals, over supplementing, or trying to “cheat” the system to look nice isn’t what being healthy is about.
  • Some people are muscular, and others can run long distances. Find a way to stay in shape that you enjoy. Lifting, sports, swimming, running, sprinting, etc. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t look like Arnold. Some people have Spider-Man body types, and others are built like Hulk. God made you the way He wanted to make you.  Chances are somewhere there’s somebody that wishes they had your abilities. Embrace who God made you to be.

Praying for you,

Caleb

###

Photo source: Spider-Man, lazy pokemon

6 Comments

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA

*