The Temple: The Gym Mindset
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24 NIV
What is the first thing you think when you walk into the gym? Is it “I’m incapable,” or “I’m not fit at all compared to all these other people?” Do you compare yourself to everyone else in the room or feed yourself unmotivating lies?
The same exhaustion and self-deprecation that follow us around in life tends to follow us into the gym too, and most times, they tend to scream even louder. The enemy loves to get ahold of our insecurities and inflate them like a balloon as he sees us struggle, being afraid of the gym doors or the thought of even stepping on a treadmill. These are moments that the devil lives for, but also moments that do not have to be our reality.
God desires us to experience freedom in everything we do in response to the freedom Jesus gifted us by dying on the cross. Your destiny doesn’t involve you being constantly entangled by your insecurities and the lies of this world. You deserve to love yourself, love your body, and love the time you spend at work on it because that is what God desires for you. Taking the step in your life to be healthy or start exercising and taking care of your temple should be an exciting new adventure, not one we feel chained to or paralized by the thought of.
Something I’ve noticed throughout the years is that when you are working on your fitness, it’s hard to not become enslaved to the idea that you are working out because you “need” to look a certain way. You almost feel as if you are an employee for your body, doing the work it needs so it can look a certain way. Working in the gym and sometimes just working on ourselves can expose us to the mindset of the world more, and that’s why we have to keep our eyes on God in everything.
The one way that we can change our experience at the gym and our mentality is by learning the mindset of God; aiming to think that same way about ourselves and what we are doing. It’s as simple as this: the people you spend most of your time with, you will act the most like. So if you spend most of your time with God, meditating in His presence, you will act and think like Him.
To turn around your mindset and leave the negative thoughts outside the gym (or anywhere in your life), is by bringing the Holy Spirit inside with you! The mental thoughts that we deal with day to day are real battles and when we forget the Holy Spirit or don’t let Him in, we are walking into that battle without our one most important weapon. I think we often forget that we have God’s Holy Spirit with us when our eyes and minds are wandering off to many different places besides God. God’s Holy Spirit is with you every step you take and every direction you go!
One way that I bring the Holy Spirit into the gym with me is that during my gym time I spend intentional time with Him. When I’m at the gym, it’s almost my therapy session of the day with God. I pray, I worship, I think, and I keep my eyes on God and all the truths He says about me. I thank Him for making me able, that I am healthy, and more than enough in His eyes. I seek nothing more but Him, and do not seek anything in myself. I let my passion for Him fuel my workout and work ethic. He is our direct source in everything we succeed in. With God we never fail, so how great is it to walk into your workout and most intimidating situations with a champion God by your side? God is there in every situation, in every moment, call on His name and He will show up. He will change your heart and your mindset. So bring God to the gym!
Another way to learn to love the gym and the time that you spend working out is to look at your body as God looks at it. Think about the strength that God gave you and how you are unique in your own wonderful way. There is no one like you. Set your eyes on the truths of God’s word and let those things flood your mind and heart as you chase after your goals in the gym. God is a God of strength and perseverance, and He loves doing that with us when we are on our last mile or 5 minutes of cardio. When you bring God to the gym with you it is a whole different experience in the most wonderful way.
Let your gym time be your quality time with Him. Workout all your frustrations through a circuit and listen to the truths of God's word through worship music as you run. Let Him bring you through your workout as He brings us through every part of this life. Just as God can turn any bad thing to good, He can do the same thing with the gym.
Give your workout time, your eating habits, and your mindset to Him and I promise your gym time will become your favorite time of the week- well maybe not! Rest in God’s presence as you push your body to its limits. Pray to Him, even on the hardest of leg days, and praise him as you see yourself improve.
Your temple is His, praise Him for it!