Breaking a Sweat

I stood in the middle of the gym’s workout room and stared at the assortment of machines. From what I’d been told, each apparatus held the promise of making specific muscle groups lean, mean, and perfectly toned.

To me—someone who hadn’t worked out in a while (translation: a few years)—they looked like instruments of medieval torture.

Someone great once wrote that getting started is half the battle, so with enthusiasm and dreams of a younger, fitter body, I attempted to get reacquainted with this strange body-shaping world.

I pushed and pulled, lifted and twisted. Three repetitions here and five or six repetitions there. I was an exercise maniac. Tiny beads of sweat began popping out on my upper lip.

Hmm. Maybe I should pace myself and not overdo on my first day. I glanced at the clock.

I’d been working out for five full minutes.

After the first week I realized that my “little bit here and there” approach to exercise wasn’t going to change my physical condition for the better. Dabbling in a healthy lifestyle would never lead to the lasting changes I needed for overall health.

What a mirror image of our spiritual lives!

How often we “dabble” in reading God’s Word instead of spending time in real study and in applying the precepts to our lives.

How easy to pray on the go instead of making time to still and quiet our hearts before the Creator.

Physical fitness requires time, commitment, and grit. There is value in caring for the body God gave us and in staying fit for service.

Spiritual fitness requires the same, plus reliance on the Holy Spirit for wisdom, guidance, strength, and perseverance. And the best part?

The benefits of soul-investment reach into eternity.


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
• 1 Timothy 4:8 •


When’s the last time we “broke a sweat” in our spiritual lives?




2 thoughts on “Breaking a Sweat

  1. Oh, Leigh Ann. You made me chuckle just before releasing a sigh. What a great illustration; and how true. I think I’ll need a towel the next time I sit to study :-)!


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