WHY PHYSICAL EXERCISE IS A SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITY

You know exercise is good for you, yet how many of you participate in a regular exercise program? How many of you make healthy food choices on a regular basis? Do you understand that healthy living is more a spiritual responsibility than simply a physical one?

Image Source: Temple Builder Fitness

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:13-15a and 6:19-20

Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? … Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

 

While Paul is mainly addressing sexual sin here, we gain the understanding that our bodies are now the temple of the living God.

When Christ was crucified the curtain that separated men from the Holy of Holies was rent from top to bottom, and Christ now indwells the heart of every believer. YOU are now the temple. YOU are now the dwelling place for the presence of Christ.

Every believer makes up a portion of the body of Christ. What happens when an organ, appendage, or part of your physical body does not work properly? That means it is unhealthy in some aspect and another portion of the body must take over to try and cover that load.

Beyond that, your body is the spiritual home of Christ, when you do not maintain it, imagine what Christ is dwelling in. It is your spiritual responsibility to maintain the temple.

The Responsibility of The Priesthood of Believers

In the Old Testament, one of the jobs of the priests was to maintain the temple. As a follower of Christ, you are now a part of the priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:5 & 2:9), and your body is now the temple of God. It is now your job and your duty to maintain that temple.

Imagine for a moment someone standing outside your home, slowly throwing rocks at it. One goes through a window. One dents the garage door. One bangs into the siding. This repeats over and over for days and weeks, and months, and years while you live inside.

After a time you go look at your home to see that it is completely destroyed. So it is with your body, as to Christ. We are quick to maintain our “palace” or home; we are quick to maintain a church edifice; and all the while the Lord’s temple goes uncared for. We live pomp lush lives of eating and drinking without regard for what it is doing to your body, to His home.

Do not merely do physical exercise unto yourself, but do it unto the Lord. It is sad that I have seen people who were called to go on a mission trip, unable to go do to their weight. It is your spiritual responsibility to maintain your body through healthy living, which includes exercising regularly and making regular healthy food choices. Do not let your physical limitations due to lack of exercise keep you from what God has called you to do.

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3 thoughts on “WHY PHYSICAL EXERCISE IS A SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITY

  1. My reason… legacy… not for my legacy… but a Gospel-centric one. Here’s what I mean. I desire to become a husband and father. The average America 9-5 job holder generally comes home after a long day of work, plops down on the couch, ignores their spouse, disregards their kids, and tends vegetate amidst the droning of scores, plays, teams, and coaches via Sportscenter. This could also very well be the average American Christian male in a family unit.

    Average… means you don’t bring your best. You just bring whatever. From my understanding of Scripture, we are to bring our best. How can we do that when we’re being lazy and shirking off our responsibilities of our primary ministry. Work was hard? Suck it up! Coming home is your right to veg out? Wrong! Not when you have a wife and say, 3 kids to check in on! How can I as a man truly honor God by loving my wife well and shepherding my kids well? I can’t do it if I’m borderline diabetic and high cholesterol is dangerously high that’s causing my sluggishness! No… fitness and training is so that I can love my wife well and so that my kids will have not just some positional dude who calls himself “dad” but that they can have a dad who adopts the role of construction play set, tea party date, wrestling partner, diving board, storyteller, and most of all PRIMARY discipler of their hearts towards Christ. This is why I train… this is why I workout…