Giving Your Faith a Workout

Sweat poured down his face as I watched the man pedal the stationary bike as if his life depended on it. His shirt was soaked with sweat and his breathing heavy as the muscles on his legs propelled him nowhere. No matter how hard or how fast he pedaled, he remained stationary, in exactly the same place as when he mounted the bicycle.

While staying physically fit has its benefits, it cannot help us to live forever. Eventually our bodies will break down as we age. Spiritual fitness, however, does have eternal value. Paul frames this concept in 1 Timothy 4:7-10 where he instructed Timothy to, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come (verse 7-8, NIV).”

This made me think about the man on the stationary bicycle. What if I put that same amount of effort into living a godly life? I picture myself going to the “Godliness” gym each morning and doing the heavy lifting of reading God’s word that is weighty with spiritual wisdom. On the treadmill, God stops the chaotic running, the striving, and tells me to stand still and know that he is God. On the track, He instructs me to run the race laid out before me; to stay in my lane and run with endurance. Sweat pours down my face, my shirt is soaked yet I feel my spiritual muscles strengthen. My breathing becomes less labored. I feel eternally fit.

It’s important that we stay healthy and physically fit so we take care of the body God has given us to serve him. But Paul reminds us of the importance of godliness, that spiritual training has value both now and in eternity. He told Timothy that they “labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe (verse 10).” And don’t forget that membership in the “Godliness” gym has already been paid by Jesus. So accept the gift of salvation that Jesus offers to you and start your godliness workout today. You’ll be forever grateful.

© 2019 CGThelen

10 thoughts on “Giving Your Faith a Workout

  1. Great analogy! Sadly, I go to the “gym,” but too many days I don’t “break a sweat.” I find journaling helps me focus and think about application of whatever I’ve read. And thanks for the reminder that the gym fee has been paid. When the accuser tells me I owe more, I’ll reject that lie!

  2. Good analogy! In the town where we used to live the gym had signs on the walls that we could read as we ran around the track – quotes by Buddha, Confucius, etc. I always wanted to add that verse from I Timothy.

  3. Beautifully written and soooo true. Life is always a balancing of our daily routines but we must always remember He is the priority. We find such joy in being with Him even when we’re working out.

  4. Giving your faith a workout is a great testament to developing our spiritual growth. I enjoy spending time with the Word and prayer each morning. The time makes me feel more prepared for the day. Thank you for sharing this inspiring post.

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