Hello, friends. Something a little different today. I have been reflecting on the way in which some people get addicted to exercise. I think that often the driving force behind working out is to make oneself strong. And don’t get me wrong, exercise is important for our physical and mental health and our sense of wellbeing. But I think there can be a downside to excessive exercise, which stems from a false motivation based on neglect of the teaching of Scripture.
When we come out of the gym after a good workout, we feel solid and pumped up. But I wonder how many people who devote themselves to this kind of exercise are motivated by fear? Is the thinking that if I work out enough, I will be strong enough to fight off anyone who might attack me? We should consider such motivations in light of Scripture. How many times is working out mentioned in the Bible, or the Qur’an? I would hazard a guess and say it’s very few. Why is this? Because for people of faith, our protection comes not from our physical strength, but from God Himself.
We need only consider the story of David and Goliath to understand that the person who is victorious in battle is the one who has God on his side, not the person who has put in the most reps at the gym. Also, I think it’s wise to recall the teaching of Jesus, that we should be meek and we should love our enemies; we should turn the other cheek in physical confrontation, not seek to overpower other people.
It can seem counter-cultural in our society to not care too much about our physical strength. It has become an obsession for so many. And by all means, go to the gym, go running, and play sports. But do so for the sake of enjoyment and health, not because it will necessarily protect you. Be mindful of the fact that your true strength comes from God — He is the one who fights our battles.
Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.Psalm 34:14