Biblical Fitness: Practical Tips, Common Pitfalls, and Scriptural Principles

I wanted to share a few things I’ve been studying and learning recently about a Biblical view of Fitness. Much of this was in preparation for sitting on a panel discussion about biblical health and fitness at a recent event at our church. I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to learn and grow in Him and for the privilege to share some of my journey with others.
A Few Practical Tips:

  • Start small and build up.
  • Small successes are still successes.
  • Accountability is key.
  • Be consistent.
  • Don’t sabotage yourself.
  • If you miss, don’t quit. Just get back up again.
  • Stretch before and after.
  • Equal and opposite actions on muscles – upward motion followed by downward motion, forward motion followed by backward motion, etc.

Common Pitfalls:

  • Comparing Ourselves – II Cor. 10:12.
  • Dishonoring our bodies (specifically, given over to lust) – Rom. 1:24.
  • Anxious/Obsessive about bodies, clothes, and food – Matt. 6:25 and Luke 12:22-23.
  • Defilement – II Cor. 7:1.
  • Abuse (even for “spiritual” reasons) – Col. 2:23.
  • To be seen/to win – I Cor. 9:25.

Scriptural Principles:

  • Created by God – Genesis and I Cor. 12:24.
  • Bought by Christ – I Cor. 16:10.
  • Commanded by God to Care for our bodies - Hebrews 10:12.
    • We are commanded to be good stewards – I Cor. 4:2 and I Pet. 4:10.
    • Bodily exercise is valuable, but godliness is more valuable – I Tim. 4:8.
    • Control you body – I Thes. 4:4, James 3:2.
    • Keep your body blameless – Heb. 9:10, I Thes. 5:23.
    • Discipline your body so you are not disqualified from service – I Cor. 9:27.
    • Commanded to cleanse/bathe regularly, especially during disease or times of uncleanness – Leviticus.
  • Picture:
    • We are members of Christ’s body – Eph. 5:30, I Cor. 6:15 and 12:12, Ro. 12:5.
    • Body is the temple of God – Jn. 2:21 (Christ refers to his body as a temple), I Cor. 16:9 (believers’ bodies are God’s temple)
  • Purpose:
    • We are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God – Rom. 12:1.
    • The life of Jesus is manifest in our bodies – II Cor. 4:10.
    • Body is for Christ, not for food and sex – I Cor. 6:13.
    • Honor Christ in your body – Phil. 1:20
  • Other Principles:
    • Gracious words bring health to the body – Prov. 16:24.
    • Future glorification of our body – Phil. 3:21.
    • See “Inspiration Behind the New Banner” for more thoughts on living a healthy, balanced life.

I came across an encouraging devotional for women that fits right along with this topic. Check out “How Can God Bring Good From This?” by Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Lysa is the author of Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food. This book was referenced at last Tuesday’s workshop. You can purchase your copy here.

For more from the Ladies Health Workshop, check out the latest post here and download a free PDF of the presentation.

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One response to “Biblical Fitness: Practical Tips, Common Pitfalls, and Scriptural Principles

  1. I love Matt. 6:25 which you mention above… and the following Matt. 6:34 especially. 6:34 Reminds us all that we are in God’s hands, health and all. So glad you posted this helpful collection of passages!

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