The Bible on Exercise
1 Timothy 4:8 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. (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 11:10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless. (NIV)
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (NIV)
Proverbs 13:25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked goes hungry. (NIV)
Proverbs 23:21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. (NIV)
Proverbs 32:2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. (NIV)
Proverbs 31:17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 12:12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. (NIV)
It’s about balance…
Our society today seems to have lost track of this fact. We are literally harpooning (pun intended) people with our sarcastic remarks. About what? Their behavior? (Which might be appropriate, especially if they are hurting somebody…) No, about their weight.
Because the culture has changed. Instead of a nice Rubenesque figure, we have decided pencil thin is the ideal. So we are using the Bible to support what the culture says. It’s been done before, but be careful. Most of the time it has been done in error; taking quotes out of context and making them fit what you wish to support.
So remember a few things:
1. Gluttony is more about using resources selfishly so that someone else will now have to do without. Why is this bad? When it comes to food it means that you are eating in excess knowing that someone else needs the food and will starve when it runs out. This explains why gluttony is a major sin, but it is thankfully not the state we live in today.
2. There are many reasons for weight gain. Some are genetic, some are disease states, and some are habits and laziness. Look at the person’s life before you criticize and remember:
Philippians 2:30 …because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me. (NIV)
There are some whose weight gain is due to stress. They have prioritized (sometimes correctly) something over their own needs. They have too much to do, or too great a burden, and that takes its toll. Life is not perfect, and sometimes there is no help available. Something must give, and often it is our health, our time for relaxation and exercise. Tired people do not go to the gym when they get a break- they try to catch up on their rest. Do not increase their burden by making them feel bad for not doing one more thing. And make sure that the reason they are burdened is not because of your laziness and lack of help… (If your gym time puts an excessive burden on your spouse, their weight gain is, in part, your fault.)
I am of course not advocating ill health and laziness. I am only saying that we need to step back and realize that, in the entire scheme of things, being godly trumps all.
Help with quotes from: http://www.blueletterbible.org