2 Unconventional Ways to Become Spiritually Fit

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

I have devoted the rest of my life to learning how to become spiritually fit. This journey began when I was 16 years old. I struggled for over 35 years with my own spiritual fitness while involved in church and missions ministry. Along the way, I learned that those who are spiritually fit instill in their daily life a few deeply meaningful practices. These practices become a “way of life” so effective that these “spiritual athletes” actually become like Christ.  

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Here are two unconventional ways to improve your life and relationships: 

1. Follow Those Who Are Spiritually Fit 

I must admit, I’m not impressed when most modern-day theologians, preachers, teachers, writers, or speakers talk about spiritual fitness. Their understanding of spiritual fitness is limited to what they think about it. It’s mostly theory, not real life, for them. I want to hear from those who are actually fit or at least devote themselves to struggling to become fit. 

When those who are intentionally and intensely fit speak of three time-tested practices that open their hearts to real communion with God and others, you and I need to pay attention. 

Time-Tested Practices 

Those who live out of the life and teachings of the Ancient Church, have taught these practices for centuries. Establish these first in your life, then look at other practices if you must.  

  • Prayer
  • Fasting
  • Almsgiving 

I wrote about these in my last post. I invite you to read that post for more information. 

2. Exercise  

For your physical health you basically need to do three things well – eat, sleep, exercise/stay active. When one of these gets missed or messed up it doesn’t matter what else you do. You’ll always struggle with poor health. 

For us moderns, exercise is the most challenging activity. But when exercise is a regular part of daily life, eating and sleeping improve. This year I’m engaged in a regular fitness program. I joined a fitness center, exercise 4-5 times/week, and follow guidelines from a health professional. My eating and sleeping have greatly improved. This positively impacts all my relationships and my work. 

For your spiritual fitness, you need to exercise – pray, fast, give to those in need. You will always struggle with your spiritual fitness if you do not exercise. But when you learn to practice these simple challenges, you discover a deepening love relationship God and others that indicates the level of your spiritual fitness. When you exercise you, your relationships, and your work improve.

Here are some action steps:  

  • Take a close look at these three practices.
  • Determine one way you can begin to engage each one.
  • Ask God to direct your heart in these challenges.
  • Then, engage each one meaningfully and prayerfully. 
  • Be attentive to how your experience of each practice makes you spiritually fit. 
  • Find the joyful struggles and benefits that come by training yourself for godliness.

Share with us how your “spiritual fitness program” is going for you. 

Dr. K