The Value of Discipline

The fitness industry is big and profitable business. Not only are there many fitness centers in each town, but there are also a variety of programs and classes readily available to anyone with a few extra dollars. In addition to classes like Jazzercise and Zumba, which have been around a long time, there are now things like CrossFit and Iron Tribe that have attracted quite a following. 

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Time, Money, and Discipline

Of course, you need some kind of gear if you are going to work out. These days, wearable fitness gear such as Fitbits and Apple Watches are a staple for many people. If being fit is really important to someone, they may eat organic food and take vitamins and supplements to insure maximum nutritional benefit as well. None of which is cheap. People spend a lot of money and work really hard in attempt to take care of their physical bodies. For most people, being physically fit takes time, money, and discipline.

Though some may become obsessed with physical fitness, there is no doubt being physically healthy is a good thing. The Bible even says that “bodily discipline is of some value.” The older I get, the more motivated I become to eat healthy and exercise. I want to be able to go and do as Jesus calls me. I often have a hard time grasping the monetary investment and priority people devote to physical fitness, but in general, I applaud the concept of keeping our bodies healthy through diet and exercise.

Fitness of our Spirits

I wish we were concerned about the health of our spirits even a fraction of how much we are concerned for the health of our bodies. In I Timothy 4: 7-8 we read, "on the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come." We should be disciplined in spiritual things in order to grow in godliness, which not only has benefit for our lives now, but for all of eternity. 

Physical fitness is good, but spiritual fitness is far better.  

Exercise our Spiritual Lives

Physical exercise and good nutrition will help physically build a strong, healthy body. There is also a way to exercise our spiritual lives and make sure we are getting the spiritual nourishment we need. "Spiritual disciplines" build a strong spiritual life because they are activities we incorporate into our lives as a matter of discipline. They help us have strong spiritual lives, which will yield the fruit of godliness - a great value for this life and for eternity.

Prayer, study of God’s Word, meditation on God’s Word, fasting, worship, silence and solitude, and journaling are some of the primary spiritual workouts we can do. They provide the nutrition our spirits need to be healthy and strong. They require regular, diligent effort, and they must be a priority in our lives, but the benefit is well worth it! 

Don’t let your CrossFit class, your treadmill, and your organic-wheatgerm-protein smoothie be of greater value to you than the Word of God and prayer.