Fitness as a Subcategory of Discipleship

subcategoryI like to think of Fitness as a subcategory of Discipleship. While it’s not necessarily typical, it’s Biblical in that:

  • • your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19-20)
  • • we’re commanded to imitate Christ, Who was without sin and therefore completely innocent of any kind of excess (gluttony [Prov 23:2, 21; Ez 16:49; Eph 5:1])

Our nation is overweight and out of shape. And when you look at the stats that are exclusive to those who claim to be Christians, the numbers are even more incriminating.

Not Just Aesthetics

The thing that makes this issue more than just an aesthetic problem is that self control is among the Fruits of the Spirit. If you’re supposedly championing a doctrine that includes the ability to resist temptation, what does it say about the King you represent when you cave anytime someone waves a candy bar in front of your nose?

It’s not about being an action figure or a fashion model, as much as it’s being a good commercial. And you know what? When you approach fitness from that perspective, it’s a far more effective paradigm. Now you’re not working out by yourself, for yourself and answering to no one other than yourself. Now you’ve got a Reason and a Reward that goes beyond a self-gratifying dynamic and that can make a big difference in the resolve you deploy when it comes to diet and exercise.


Thing is, sometimes fitness seems like a distant and even impossible goal. We see body building magazines and fitness periodicals featuring physiques and figures that seem to be carved out of marble and polished to a high glossy finish. You calculate the time and resources needed to achieve the implied standard and you quickly dismiss it as impractical and even an unnecessary use of your time.

But it’s not true. Fitness is achievable.

IMG_1887I want you to meet a friend of mine. This is Joseph Goss. At first glance, he looks typical – nothing especially noteworthy one way or another in terms of his build. But look at Joseph after his having determined to be diligent in the way he exercised and ate. Joseph is a personification of  1 Timothy 4:12.  He’s setting an example, not so much in terms of the WAY you should eat right and work out as much as the fact that you CAN and SHOULD eat right and work out.

Inspiration | Perspiration | Transformation

Can you smell that? That’s the aroma of an invitation right there, my friend! It’s not so much an invitation to perspire as much as it’s an invitation to be inspired in a way that intentionally blurs the lines between the sacred and the everyday. “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed…” (Col 3:17).  Process that Truth in a way that intentionally  includes the dinner table and the weight room and embrace physical discipline as a subcategory of your spiritual disciplines. That’s discipleship, that’s being a good example and that’s Muscular Christianity!

NGo get ‘em!



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