Getting and Staying Spiritually Fit

Discover the qualities of a healthy spirit and take steps to exercise your faith.

By Mary Lou Carney, Chesterton, Indiana

Spiritual health brings satisfaction and happiness, just as physical health does. But you can’t get healthy spiritually by joining a spin class or running a marathon. Spiritual health requires spiritual exercises.

In a letter to his young assistant Timothy, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7). The Apostle compared physical fitness with spiritual fitness. “Take time and trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit. Bodily fitness has a certain value, but spiritual fitness is essential, both for this present life and for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).

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For spiritual growth, nothing can take the place of prayer–simply spending time with God, thanking him for his gifts to you, praising him, asking for guidance, admitting your sins and asking forgiveness and help.

You will grow as you set a good example–“in speech and behavior, in your love and faith and sincerity” (1 Timothy 4:12). And “keep a critical eye on yourself” (verse 16). From time to time, ask yourself how you are doing spiritually–and take the steps necessary to continue growing.

Here’s how you can check your own spiritual health:

1. A spiritually healthy person has a definite goal.
Abraham’s goal was to reach the land God had in store for him. Paul’s goal was to reach the whole known world for Christ. What is your goal for this month? This day? Think big–God will help you!

2. A spiritually healthy person is realistically humble.
Paul, probably the greatest saint of all time, called himself “less than the least of all saints” (Ephesians 3:8). He reminds us not to feel self-important with the question “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). St. Teresa called herself “a pencil in the hand of God.”

3. A spiritually healthy person is confident.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

4. A spiritually healthy person is optimistic.
They believe God is on their side and all will be well. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Take steps today to become more spiritually fit!

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