The Bible Says You Don't Have to Exercise
People can find scripture to support their views on just about anything, regardless of what it is. There are scriptures that suggest it's OK to have more than one wife, you can drink and be merry, or you can kill someone for their wrongdoing. These verses are often taken out of context, or the laws changed after Jesus came.
1 Timothy 4:8 is one of these verses. Those people who hate exercise and simply don’t want to do it can rightfully say that the Bible states that we "don’t have to" exercise. "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
From a health perspective, I would have to disagree with the claim that we don't have to or shouldn't exercise. It's also written elsewhere in scripture, as some of my previous blog posts have discussed, that God wants us to be healthy, which does entail exercising.
However, I believe spiritual fitness is much more important than obsessing about how we look in a swimsuit.
Why should we be spiritually fit?
The biggest reason is because our eternal life depends on what we do here on earth. Our life, however long, is only temporary whereas eternity is forever. As humans, that time frame is so hard to grasp. I don’t know about you, but shouldn’t we want to do everything in our power to ensure that our permanent dwelling is with God rather than the alternative?
Another reason is that happiness in this life is directly related to our spirituality. How many unhappy people do you encounter each day? I cannot imagine someone who is filled with the Lord’s Spirit being miserable! God gives us so much joy that it's impossible to truly despair.
Generally, we have some influence on the people who surround us, whether family or friends. Don’t we want to be a good influence on them? Like with physical fitness, when a co-worker sees you've lost some weight, are eating healthier lunches, and going for walks during breaks, they may talk to you about it and start trying it themselves. The world today is so full of hatred, so let’s be a positive influence where it matters most. We can’t shed God’s light if we are not personally filled with it ourselves.
So, how do we become spiritually fit? Make sure we are as close to God as we can be. Everyone is different, and our relationships with God are different. But some things you can do are reading scripture regularly, praying, fasting and praying, attending church services, visiting the sick, or even just talking with the pillars of the church.
So for your homework, along with being consistent with your physical exercise, make sure to be consistent with your spiritual exercises!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.