But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. ESV 1 Corinthians 9:27
While the context of Paul’s comments above focused on more spiritual things, especially pertaining to the gospel, its feasible to draw some broad application. While we shouldn’t worship our bodies, they are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and bluntly put, we they wear out, our time on earth is done…our spiritual formation comes to a close. For that reason, it’s important that we care for our bodies. I’ve run for the last 20 years, and overall have really enjoyed it. However, I’ve noticed that as I age, my upper body needs some work as well…I’ve got the cardio, and now need to add the strength training. With what time? (Isn’t that biggest challenge we face as husbands, parents, workers, etc.)
I stumbled upon an article that caught my attention this past week. Apparently this woman just started her first 9-5 job following her active college life and sits at a desk 40 hours a week. She decided to plank for 1 minute every hour, and after two weeks noticed some surprisingly positive results. I liked the idea, so I decided to try 30 push-ups every hour. Theoretically, it provides enough of a workout throughout the day, but you don’t break into a sweat in your work clothes. I’ve tried it for two days now, and overall I like how it fits into my schedule. I’m not sure how well it will work long term or what the results will be, but I have to try something.
This may not seem like spiritual formation, but on so many levels, it really is. Anything the builds discipline translates into helping us spiritually as we read the Bible daily, pray, fight sin, etc. Taking care of our bodies allows us to live longer on this earth and work longer for God’s kingdom. Staying in good health allows us to be more effective in our vocations to which God has called us. Staying fit makes us more attractive to our spouses, which maintains strong marriages, which is the greatest testimony of Christ and the church to the world! Imagine…a few push-ups each day really does build us spiritually.