How to Find the Discipline to Exercise

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 NIV

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How disciplined are you when it comes to exercise?

Most people fall into one of 3 categories:

  • You can’t even wrap your head around the thought of exercising. You don’t know where to start.
  • You exercise, but you’re inconsistent and sporadic. You actually enjoy it, but sometimes life gets in the way.
  • You do it consistently and and enjoy the benefits it offers you.

Most people seem to fall somewhere around #2.

Let’s talk about how you can develop more discipline so you can move closer to #3.

Let’s be honest. It takes discipline to exercise. It takes discipline to wake up early when you don’t feel like it. And it put on your shoes, break a sweat and endure the pain of aching muscles. Some people are naturally more disciplined than others. It could be their natural personality; their upbringing; their ability to forgo gratification or a deep sense of understanding that short term discomfort is better than long term regret.

Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of discipline, Hebrews 12:11teaches us an important principle about discipline. In order for us to benefit from God’s discipline, we must be “trained” by it. This training is necessary for God to strengthen our spiritual muscles. If we try to bypass or forego the pain of training, we will pay for it later by being defeated by temptation and sin. We will continually feel in bondage if we keep satisfying our flesh by enjoying the immediate pleasure instead of ‘suffering’ through the temporary pain. We can’t have both.

This exact principle applies to our physical bodies when it comes to training. Yeah, but it’s still hard you might be saying.

So just how do we learn discipline? The key is not in ourselves, but to look upward. Discipline is a gift we receive from the Holy Spirit. It is not something we can muster up in our own strength. Our role as Hebrews 12:11teaches us is to accept the training.

Exercise will require us to continually train ourselves to bring our flesh and our desires under the control of Christ by the power of his Spirit. Yes, it is not pleasant at the time, but we must continually train ourselves to look beyond the immediate pain. God would never command us to do something and make it too difficult (Deut. 30:11). There is much pleasure for us to experience at the end of the journey if we accept God’s training. It’s worth it! You’re worth it!

 

Share what category you fall into and how you will see exercise differently in light of God’s word.

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RENEE

Wow. Powerful. I usually do not comment but this one right here was sent straight from God to me! I had been pretty consistent with exercising 3 times a week for over a year minus a few setbacks; however, lately, I have not been able to convince myself to get up at 4:30 am and exercise. I am definitely in category 2. I know I need to exercise but I really don’t particularly enjoy it. Train me Holy Spirit. I am reminded of the scripture in Hebrews 5:8, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things… Read more »