'Faithful Fitness' was originally posted on this site on January 13, 2013. This is an updated version of that original post.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Making healthy choices on a consistent basis is a significant challenge for many of us. The world offers many temptations in the form of food (comfort), amusement (distractions) and substances (escape) that can degrade or destroy our physical, emotional and spiritual health. Unfortunately, many Christians struggle with these issues just as much as those without Christ.
The real issue here is a spiritual one! We seek comfort and satisfaction in ‘things’ that are not capable of meeting our most fundamental need: intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
We will never achieve sustainable
victory over these temptations
if we battle them in the
perceived strength of our own abilities.
The core concepts of Faithful Fitness are intended to focus on the whole person: spirit, soul and body!
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ideally these concepts are applied to all areas of life:
- Relationships – To God, spouse, children, family, friends, enemies, coworkers, acquaintances, etc.
- Responsibilities – As a Christian, spouse, parent, family member, friend, employee, citizen, etc.
- Rest – Found in prayer, meditation on God’s Word, downtime, sleep, fun, vacation, hobbies, etc.
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Faithful Fitness is a Christ centered approach to making healthy choices about life. A significant component of this approach is to honor God by taking care of our bodies. This is very important because our bodies were created by God in His image (Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:13-14).
Three Biblical principles form the foundation for healthy, balanced, God honoring choices:
Tending the Temple
Our bodies are an amazing creation of God. God dwells inside every Christian; He expects us to take care of His temple.
- As Christians, unhealthy choices are disrespectful and dishonoring to God. We make decisions that don’t reflect reality; our bodies don’t belong to us, they belong to Him (1 Corinthians 6:20).
- Christians are the temple of God. When we defile our bodies, we are defiling the temple of God. There are serious consequences for neglecting or abusing our bodies (2 Corinthians 6:16).
- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
Tending the Temple means caring for our bodies
as the holy temples of God that they are.
When we commit to doing something intended to honor God, He expects us to do it.
- The wrong approach to honoring God is to rely on our own will power, determination or strength. We are to submit to God and succeed by His grace and power (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- We must be disciplined in our pursuit of God and our commitments to Him. God will reward our faithfulness (Hebrews 11:6). Discipline in our promises to God avoids His discipline.
- James 5:12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.
Demonstrated Discipline means
honoring our commitments to God, no excuses.
God created us with the capacity to experience great pleasure. However, some things are strictly forbidden by God. For other things, excessive indulgence or impulsive behavior becomes sinful.
- The problem is, sometimes after we enjoy a ‘taste’ of something, we do not keep a God honoring view of what is reasonable and what is extreme (James 1:14-15).
- It is OK for some people to enjoy occasional, moderate treats (a special desert or snack, extra portion of a food you ‘love’, etc.) The key is not going overboard or getting off track. Each person, based on their relationship with God, must determine their own limits (Romans 14).
- Proverbs 25:28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.
Reasonable Restraint means
satisfying our cravings in Christ
and adhering to God honoring limits.
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
In the weakness of our flesh, we all fall short. But in His strength and for His glory, we can live a God honoring life.
Keys to Success
- Rely on God for success, not yourself.
- Recognize God’s sovereignty, but don’t relinquish your responsibilities.
- Pray, read your Bible, serve others, be accountable to other Christians: repeat, repeat …
- Don’t compromise: God doesn’t, you shouldn’t either.
- Set realistic goals and boundaries.
Dangers to Avoid
- Vanity – the healthier you get, the better you look and feel. The better you look and feel, the more you focus on yourself rather than God.
- Guilt – stumbles become excuses to compromise and get focused on yourself.
- Pride – Losing your focus on God and giving yourself credit for the good things He has done in your life.
- During the course of everyday life, forgetting that your body is His temple.
- Taking breaks from your commitments or temporarily ignoring the boundaries you have set.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Faithfull Father, I pray in the name of Jesus that Your Word, Your Truths, and the power of Your Spirit will encourage and enable many to live a life of Faithful Fitness for Your Glory! Replace the guilt, shame and frustration that result from our failures with the peace, joy and love that reside in Your presence. Amen.