09 Oct Fitness And Faith – They Go Hand in Hand
Committing to fitness parallels with building your faith.
When you’re seeking to become closer to the Lord, He leads you down various avenues to grow. You may be led to serve in your local church, find a new local church, start morning devotionals, and/or even connect with a prayer partner. Those are all powerhouse ways to grow your faith and spiritual wellbeing.
I love integrating various dimensions of wellness into life and I want to share some different ways that creating a fitness routine – and sticking to it – can mirror how you develop a more intimate relationship with God. Believe it or not, fitness and faith often run parallel to each other.
Beginning new lifestyle patterns is not easy to do in any arena of life. Whether it be a spiritual or physical discipline. I encourage you to start thinking about how these different aspects can merge together and help you evolve into the woman you desire to be.
Check out a few ways that committing to fitness and deepening your faith go hand in hand:
Both take time to build targeted “muscle”
If you want to tone your arms or legs, you generally know that doing a set of bicep curls today at the gym won’t make it happen tomorrow. It takes time and a certain amount of training. The US Health and Human Services (HHS) physical activity guidelines can help get you there. They include targeting the major muscle groups with a certain amount of reps and sets over time. The same principle of intentionality applies to building your spiritual muscles. If you want to grow in patience, love, or self-control, you can turn to the fruit of the Spirit principles found in Galatians 5:22-25. Maybe you need to work on a forgiving heart. There’s divine instruction in Matthew 18:21-35, pointing you towards infinite forgiveness. The awesome news is that while the HHS guidelines are subject to change with each new edition, the Bible never changes and is your eternal resource. As you target your physical or spiritual muscle, the discipline you gain can spill over into the other area too.
Both require you to do frequent “character checks”
I’m sure you want to attend yoga class, go hiking, or start lifting weights on some regular basis and not be one-and-done. On the quest for consistency, you’ll have to ask yourself some real questions along the way like, “Do I keep the promises I make to myself? Do I do what I say I’ll do when I say I will do it?” It’s not about perfection, but rather integrity and honoring your own goals. We try so hard to keep our word to others, but what about to ourselves? The same applies to your spiritual life. Do you pray for wisdom in creating margin for quiet time with Him and not follow through? Do you wake up 10-30 minutes earlier for devo time and end up scrolling social media instead? I’m guilty of these more times than I’d like to admit. This is not about condemnation or shame, but about recognizing where you can do better. Cheers to periodic “character checks” to help identify where you can grow in your fitness and faith journeys.
Both allow you to experience joy and an abundant life
Stewarding your body well builds your stamina to do all that He’s called you to do with more ease. A healthier body allows you to do what matters most to you – running 5K’s for good causes, playing with your nieces and nephews, and/or partaking in adventures on your next vacation. These bring about great joy and you see your efforts paying off. After a minute of sticking with your community group or Bible study plan, you’ll find yourself passing more of life’s tests. Your faith is maturing and getting stronger. You’ll be drawn to the Lord in a deeper way as all His blessings in the big and small things are revealed to you. Jesus came to give us abundant life in full (John 10:10). Realizing this in tangible ways can be just the spark we need.
I always encourage you to personalize it. How does tending to your physical fitness parallel with your own spiritual growth? Which fitness and faith practices build upon each other? Remember, the Lord wants your heart, not perfect action. Take the next step and He’ll help you make it happen in these two areas and beyond. Who knew fitness and faith could go hand in hand?