Working out has become more popular in the modern era due to its many benefits to the body. This topic is worth discussing since many people wonder what the Bible says about working out. Is working out a sin?
The Bible suggests that working out is not a sin and encourages Christians to care for their bodies, as explained in Corinthians 6:19-20. However, working out can become a sin when people idolize their bodies or start envying those who are more physically fit. The Bible is against idolatry (1st Corinthians 10:14) and also warns against envy in Ecclesiastes 4:4.
What does the Bible teach about working out? Does God endorse working out as a Christian? What are the reasons to work out, according to Christians? These are some of the questions that this article will cover. By the end of it, one can also discover the Bible verses that talk about working out. Read on to find out more!
What does the Bible teach about working out?
The Bible teaches Christians to find a balance between spirituality and caring for their physical bodies. They should not focus on one area and completely neglect the other. The Bible also suggests that physical training is valuable and is, therefore, not a sin. 1st Timothy:8 says For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Paul also mentions physical training in a positive light in different Bible verses like 1st Corinthians 9:24 and 2nd Timothy 2:5. Though in these verses, he uses athletic terminology to teach believers spiritual truths, the verses indicate that the Bible is not against working out.
Does God endorse working out as a Christian?
The Bible suggests that God encourages Christians to take care of their bodies. 1st Corinthians 6:19 says, Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price, so glorify God with your body.
Christians are encouraged to take care of their bodies, but God does not support idolizing physical perfection. Since Exodus 20:3 warns us to practice idolatry, idolizing the body is unacceptable in God’s eyes. This verse says You shall have no other gods before me.
According to the Bible, Christians can exercise to improve their physical fitness. Still, they should not place the value of their bodies above all other things, including their relationship with God.
What are the reasons to work out, according to Christians?
Christians work out to care for God’s body and show appreciation for the body He has given them. We can learn this from Romans 12:1, which says, And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice, the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Working out can make Christians strong and healthy, and ready to serve. Titus 2:14 explains that Jesus redeemed us from sin so we may be zealous for good works. When Christians are in good shape, they can use their strength to serve others and evangelize.
Many Christians also work out to keep their brains more alert. This can help one continue growing as one studies the word of God. 1st Peter 1:13 calls Christians to prepare their minds for action. This verse says, Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope entirely on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Is working out on Sunday unnecessary work and does it violate the day of rest?
For Christians to live up to their God-given potential, they should find a balance between work and rest. Though Matthew 11:28 emphasizes the importance of rest, there is nowhere in the Bible that clearly says that working out on Sunday violates the day of rest.
People believe that the days one chooses to work out should be a matter of personal preference. For instance, if you have been busy the entire week and only have Sunday afternoons to work out, you would not be committing any sin doing this. On the other hand, if you have been working out the entire week, then you can rest on Sunday for the body to recover.
With that said, the Bible reminds us to keep the Sabbath day holy, as explained in Exodus 20:8-11. Many spend this day fellowship and studying the scripture rather than working out.
When does working out become a sin?
Though God is not against working out, it can become a sin when one idolizes their body. 1st Corinthians 10:14 reminds Christians to flee from idolatry. The problem with the fitness industry is that it sometimes focuses more on physical perfection and less on health. If a person only works out to achieve a certain standard of physical perfection, it becomes a sin.
The Bible suggests that working out can also become a sin when comparison is the primary motivation. For instance, one might envy a person who is physically fit. The Bible warns us against envy, as explained in Ecclesiastes 4:4. This verse says, Then I saw that all toil and all skin in work comes from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and striving after wind.
Comparing oneself with someone who is more physically fit can also make you start idolizing them, which is a sin. Exercise can also become a sin when one enslaves it. If a person works out at the expense of relationships with God or family, it becomes idolatry.
Bible verses about working out
1st Corinthians 9:24 encourages Christians to work out for the glory of God. This verse says, Don’t you realize that in a race, everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win. All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
Philippians 4:13 is a motivational verse that Christians remember while working out. It says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The Bible also reminds us not to work out for people to notice us and warns us against vanity in 1st Samuel 16:7. This verse says, But the Lord said to Samuel. Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not see things the way you see them. While people judge by outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart.
Additionally, Ezekiel 37:6 reminds Christians to appreciate God as the creator of their bodies as they work out. This verse says, I will put flesh and muscle on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
- You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3)
- Should a Christian exercise?
- Vision of the Valley of Dry bones
- Balancing Rhythms of Rest and Work
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.