Why Isn’t Spiritual Health and Fitness Taken Seriously?

When the Coronavirus pandemic forced the world into lockdown, many people interested in health and fitness sought new ways to keep physically and mentally fit to combat the consequences of sedentary living and isolation; we saw a surge in sales of dumbbells, yoga mats, and online fitness programs, plus a boom in subscriptions of Zoom, Netflix, and online learning.

But the challenge of quarantine hasn’t been just physical and mental. In the face of uncertainty and death, according to recent polls, one in twenty people have started praying, a quarter of adults have watched an online religious service, and more than ever people are searching for hope. Why? Because humans are not just flesh and thoughts; we have an inbuilt desire for purpose, value, justice, truth, and life. In other words, we were built to be moral; we were built to be spiritual.

The Bible tells an amazing story of what it means to be human and why we are spiritual: the sovereign God of the universe is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 14). He spoke the world into existence and, as the pinnacle of His creation, made humans in His image and likeness to be spiritual creatures (Genesis 1) with His truth written on our hearts (Jer 31:33). As God’s image bearers, we have been given a body, mind, and spirit. (1 Thess 5:23).

Most people understand the importance of physical and mental health and fitness; we understand how when one strengthens or suffers, the other follows sooner or later. I’m a certified fitness professional; I even started a missional fitness community (called ‘Breakfit’) with a vision to see whole-person transformation in local communities and a desire to enable people of all ages to flourish in body, mind, and spirit. The parallels of training and the seamless conversational connection between physical and spiritual fitness are incredible to me. But why isn’t spiritual health and fitness taken seriously? We are in danger of neglecting what it means to be human as God intended; the spirit is not a fraction of our humanity – it is integral to our humanity.

The Bible teaches spiritual health and fitness starts with believing and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 10:9-13), and is sealed by immediately receiving the Holy Spirit, guaranteeing eternal life (Eph 1:14). From that point on, life is learning to trust Christ by keeping in step with the Spirit and seeking first His Kingdom in all our relationships, pursuits, and experiences. But like physical and mental fitness, that doesn’t just happen; spiritual fitness requires training.

“…train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7b-8)

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Source: Church Leaders