Should Christians Exercise?
There are two times a year that most people think about exercise… 1)New Year’s Eve, when they pledge to lose those extra storage units around their waist, and 2)Summertime, when they want to gear up for vacation… in that new outfit. But is exercise meant to be an afterthought, or is it meant to be a steady part of a Chritian life?
The apostle Paul was speaking to Timothy in a letter of encouragement, and stated, “For *bodily exercise profiteth* little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)
Another translation says that bodily exercise has, “some value”. Notice that Paul did not say that exercise has no value… but rather, he places it in its proper perspective in a Christian life. Paul wanted Timothy to understand that our first and greater priority should be maintaining godliness.
Paul even used exercise and fitness in other areas of scripture to validate spiritual truths… “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (1 Corinthians 9:24), and “7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2 Timothy 4:7).
So, at the outset, we see that there is nothing _wrong_ with a Christian exercising… but is it something we _should_ do? Paul stated in Ephesians 5:29 that Christians should take care of their own bodies even as Christ takes care of the church. Furthermore, Paul goes on to state in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “19 What? know ye not that your *body is the temple of the Holy Ghost* which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore *glorify God in your body*, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Our bodies belong to God, and we should strive to take care of them and stay healthy. We do this through reasonable exercise and nutrition, among other things.
So, yes… Christians _should_ exercise!