How this Christian exercise instructor combines faith with fitness.
Can you picture a Chinese fortune cookie that you’ve snapped it in half to get the message out?
That’s what many people’s approach to health looks like. Two separate pieces.
We go to church for spiritual inspiration…we go to the gym to work out.
Many of us read a daily devotional at home, or go to a small group Bible study to learn how we can be transformed by God.
To improve our physical health, we go on a diet, see a medical doctor…or watch The Biggest Loser to see what dramatic change is possible for our bodies.
Even people that have risen to the top of their profession often have a broken approach to health.
I can think of several well-known Christian pastors and authors who are very overweight. They seem to skip over the parts in the Bible about taking care of the physical body. I am not judging them, but I notice they do not take care of their health.
Then, there are those in the health community that have powerful bodies but do not share any spiritual wisdom. Take, for example, the celebrity trainers we see on television. They look great, but don’t give glory to God for their healthy, strong bodies.
The spiritual and the physical are two facets of us that fit together perfectly, just like the broken pieces of a fortune cookie. That’s the philosophy behind Shaped by Faith, my work in which I help people to use their faith to inspire fitness and their fitness to strengthen their faith.
Here are two easy ways to put your spiritual and your physical parts together.
1. When you are in church, breath deeply and evenly from your belly during the sermon and Scripture reading.
Oxygen will flood your bloodstream—giving you more energy, and you’ll exhale carbon dioxide—decreasing your fatigue and mental fog.
2. While you exercise, repeat a prayer or Scripture verse to yourself as you walk, cycle, or lift.
Your focus will broaden and God’s strength and power will support your physical exertion.
Back to that fortune cookie—here is God’s message for you, from 1 Timothy 4:8, “Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.” (The Message)
Get more advice from Theresa!
Find all you need to know on whole-person
wellness in Shaped by Faith.
Theresa is a former model and nationally certified fitness professional who teaches people to use their faith to inspire fitness and their fitness to strengthen their faith. She is the author of Shaped by Faith: 10 Secrets to Strengthening your Body & Soul, and two exercise DVDS: Pilates for the Soul
She and her husband, Robin, have seven children and live in Calhoun, Kentucky.
You can email her with any questions or concerns.