The Discipline of Exercise

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Exercise. Discipline. Hard work.

Friend or foe? Embrace it or shun it? Push through or give up?

Although I’ve been rather disciplined through the years with exercising daily…walking or riding a bike…one thing I let fall by the wayside was strength training. Something I used to do three times a week for years disappeared from my to-do list.

Excuses for not getting to the weight bench were numerous. I didn’t have time. Didn’t feel like it. Too tired. Not motivated. Didn’t care. But the truth is, I was no longer disciplined.

Maybe you can relate?

Well, at the last visit with my primary care physician, she told me I needed to add weight training to my list of activities to strengthen the weak muscles in my back. I whined. She smiled and patted my shoulder.

It’s been several months since that visit, and I finally got myself to the garage and began the familiar routine of lifting weights three times a week. I believe it is true that our muscles have memory. The process was not too difficult nor overly time consuming.

Of course, a couple days after I started I had some sore muscles, but took that as a sign there was hope the flab could be eradicated. Yea!

This morning as I counted off reps, I thought about how we sometimes make excuses for not exercising our spiritual muscles. We’re content to have flabby arms, rolls of fat around our waistlines, and blubber under our shirts. That’s how God made us, after all, we tell ourselves. More of me to love…

We don’t have time to open our Bibles. We don’t feel like praying. We’re too tired to go to church. We just aren’t motivated. And if we’re truly honest with ourselves, sometimes we simple do not care.


When I got back to my weight bench I didn’t go full throttle. I knew that would only discourage me because too much time had passed since I could complete X amount of repetitions with Y amount of weight successfully. I began at a comfortable level, determined to increase as time goes by. (That sounds like a great title for a song in a WWII movie set in Casablanca. 😉 )

Want to read the Bible every single day but feel overwhelmed? Try reading one verse a day and build up from there. You could sign up for an on-line devotional to be sent to your in box. Here are a couple to get you going if you’re interested. There are many more out there, but this is a start.

  • Devotionals Daily
  • Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotions
  • Christian Devotions
  • Proverbs 31 Ministries

Been awhile since you spent time talking with God in prayer? You don’t have to be a theologian to pray. Just tell God what’s on your heart in your own words.

Make the effort to find a group of believers who you enjoy spending time worshiping God with every week. The kind of place where you’d like to invite your friends to join you.

Get involved with a Bible study group. One I highly recommend is Bible Study Fellowship. Yes. BSF is intense. Yes. It requires effort. Yes. You have to do your lesson, but you know what? The benefit of disciplining ourselves to study God’s word is more than worth it. BSF is international so odds are, a class meets in your area.

The discipline of exercise, whether it be to improve our physical or spiritual muscles, is beneficial to our overall well being.

What do you do to exercise both your physical and spiritual muscles?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Hebrews 12:11-12 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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