Is Exercising Biblical?
I hope you now have a fairly firm grasp on how God has called us to take care of our physical bodies nutritionally through His creation. Let’s move on to the next important aspect, exercise. Wait! Don’t move onto the next article! Hear me out first!
Most health experts will agree that a healthy physical lifestyle is generally 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Exercise is an extremely important aspect in reducing the risk of developing certain diseases and has been shown to reduce overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. It is a natural and cost-effective way to reduce stress and improve your daily life.
So how does exercise fit within a biblical view? Did Jesus exercise? Well, no. He didn’t purposely go out and run or lift weights but He lived an active lifestyle. During biblical times, the lifestyle was very mobile. Everyone walked to where they needed to go, they grew, raised and hunted for their food and most made their living as carpenters, farmers or laborers.
Today, our culture has developed many amazing advances in technology and engineering. We have cars, computers, telephones and machines that make our daily life easier. However, these advances have also lead to a very sedentary lifestyle. We are not as active as people were in Jesus’ time. Our modern advances have created a lifestyle where we sit for almost everything. So what does that mean for exercise in today’s culture? We must pursue an active lifestyle!
1 Thessalonians 5:23 MSG says, “may God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.” It is important that we keep our physical bodies healthy and active along with our spiritual bodies, so that we may carry out the call God has on our lives! Are you physically able to go and do when God says “now”?
Believe it or not but God does not like laziness! There are over 100 verses in His Word about it! Proverbs 19:15 says, “Life collapses on loafers; lazybones go hungry.” According to John Hopkins Medicine, thousands and thousands of deaths result each year due to a lack of regular physical activity. Am I saying you have to become a marathon runner, crossfit champion or bodybuilder? Not necessarily, unless you do those things in the name of the Lord and for His glory. I am saying that you need to chose to be more active in your daily life which will honor God with your body.
If you currently do not live an active life, start small by walking 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. If you do live a somewhat active life, progress to strength training at a gym or try out a group fitness class. If you have established an active lifestyle, in what areas could you improve in? All of these activities can glorify God! Listen to christian music, find a verse that you can memorize or pray while working out. You can do it!
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV.