I’m smiling wistfully as I recall the first time I gazed upon my future husband. A friend introduced us on what is now the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus. We were young college students, and my heart flipped over the genuine warmth in Jim’s smile and the kindness in his hazel eyes. Okay, I admit it. I was also awed by his well-muscled physique. A weight lifter, he was easily a dead ringer for Michelangelo’s statue of David.
Interesting, isn’t it, how a great physique impresses us? Probably because we know not everyone exercises with the dedicated focus it takes to sculpt the human body into a powerful machine. The few who achieve that ultimate goal rightfully earn our admiration.
Interesting, too, though how God makes it clear that neither the strength of a powerful horse or a body building champion impresses him.
Does this mean body building for competition or exercising for personal health and appearance are worthless? Absolutely not! Even God’s Word tells us that physical exercise has some value (1 Timothy 4:8). But the same verse also says that spiritual exercise is far more important. Why? Because it promises a reward not only in this life but in the next.
So, yes, go ahead and exercise physically at home, in the great outdoors, or at your favorite gym. But also be wise. Remember your more important exercises–spiritual exercises like reading and studying The Bible, praying, sharing the Good News about Jesus Christ, gathering regularly with other believers, and showing kindness. These carry an everlasting reward … a forever reward.
Focus: “Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually and practice being a better Christian, because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next one too” 1 Timothy 4:7-8, New Living Translation.
How about you? What exercises have you found so valuable that you would definitely recommend them to others?