One thing I haven’t really talked about here on Ninja-Fitness.com is faith and fitness. Or faith and spirituality. I am a Christian and I believe in Jesus Christ as my savior.
Am a good person or perfect human being?
Far from it.
But I do rest in God’s grace.
As a person that loves fitness I struggle with balancing my faith and fitness. I’m into fitness for a few reasons: It keeps me in shape and looking good, I want to get stronger, I love being competitive, and it keeps me healthy. None of those things in itself is bad but when it becomes an idol or a sole source of identity then things can go wrong there. And I struggle with these things all the time. (Our identity is supposed to be anchored in being sons and daughters of God and being comfortable and confident in the personality and experience He gave us.)
You know what’s funny is that there are Crossfit Athletes that have a different mindset when it comes to working out. Rich Froning, the Crossfit champion the past two years and has the title “Fittest Man on Earth” has a Galatians 6:14 “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the.” tattooed on him. Which shows his mindset of not boasting, bragging, and being prideful of his Crossfit Games accomplishments but in Christ alone.
Chris Spealler is a top ten Crossfit Games Athlete (Special note about him is that he is only 5’5″ and about 140 lbs and he runs with the big dogs at the Games and the average Crossfit athlete is about 5’8″ plus and weight about 185 lbs or more.) and he uses his faith to deal with the stress of competing in the games. Read this excerpt that I found on him on a Crossfit games blog.
“Dealing with the stress of CrossFit can be difficult for many Games competitiors. Chris deals with the stress of competition through his faith. He prays both before and after training. Contrary to what one may expect, though, Chris’s faith does not spur him on in a quest for physical and spiritual perfection. Instead, Chris’s faith is about “resting in God’s grace and the fact that there is nothing I need to do to earn His love for me.” This thought allows Chris to disassociate his performance from his self-worth. Instead of his performance, Chris wants his “relationship with Christ to define who I am.” Training this way allows Chris to experience the “joy” of training, instead of worrying about how his numbers will stack up.
Finally, while his Christian faith is extremely important to him, Chris wants people to know that no matter “where you are personally,” it “doesn’t affect my respect for you.”‘
Wow that’s crazy. Most of the time I workout is for selfish and pride reasons. But thank God for His grace. We can still redeem our intentions for His glory. If we worked out for God, we wouldn’t slack off or quit but give our best. Even giving our best, enjoying fitness, or taking care of our bodies to be good stewards is glorifying to Him. So lets bring it back!
So how do you balance your fitness and faith?