Athlete, Enjoy The Benefits Of Voluntary Workouts
1 Timothy 4:8 (ESV)
For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
Football is a tough sport and a big commitment for players. Players must keep their bodies in shape, study in-depth playbooks and diligently practice during the offseason. This especially requires self-discipline, effort and intentionality when a workout isn’t mandatory.
According to NFL.com, “All 32 teams are entitled to a nine-week voluntary offseason program. Phase one covers the first two weeks with activities limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehab only.”
As part of an agreement between the players and the owners, players are not required to participate in certain activities during the offseason because they’re considered “voluntary workouts.”
Many players still end up joining their teammates for in-person “voluntary workouts,” so they can establish team chemistry, improve their skills, spend time with coaches and demonstrate their commitment to the team. Each player has been given the freedom to choose whether or not to attend “voluntary workouts,” but those who do show up take full advantage of the growth opportunities and dedicated time with their coach.
When it comes to our own lives as followers of Jesus, we live in freedom because of God’s grace and the gift of salvation that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.
However, as we live on earth as members of God’s team, He invites us to participate in “voluntary workouts” made to help us know Him better, become more like Him, and develop our faith.
We can consider “voluntary workouts” as fellowship with other believers, corporate worship, serving at church, praying, meditating on Scripture, studying God’s Word and fasting. God invites us to get to know Him deeply as we seek Him through these different ways.
In 1 Timothy 4:8, it tells us, “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
The reality is that if an NFL player loves football, he does whatever he can to be part of the sport and is involved in practice so he can enhance his game. Likewise, if we love God and desire to follow Jesus, then we want to do what’s going to enhance our faith and help us become more like Him.
Today, let’s voluntarily work out our faith by relying on the Lord, pursuing Him, serving Him, representing Him and practicing the spiritual disciplines in which He invites us to freely participate.
- What is your perspective on spiritual disciplines like reading or fasting or other “voluntary workouts”?
- What holds you back from participating in these growth opportunities?
A prayer to consider: Heavenly Father, thank You for saving me and giving me new life. I pray I’d freely and willingly continue to seek You and participate in everything You have available for me to grow and know You better. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.