Last updated on August 22, 2020
Hope you are well. In my life, I have struggled with a passion of mine that I believe is kind of hurting my relationship with God. Bodybuilding has been my passion for a while, and for some reason, I just don’t think a Christian can be a bodybuilder. I believe it is pretty vain. However, I would love my passion for bodybuilding to turn into some kind of ministry of some sort. But when I think about doing bodybuilding, I get obsessed. I don’t do it because I like to go to the weight room, I do it because of the way it makes me look. When I am concentrating on my physical image it hurts my relationship with God. What is your take?
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (I Timothy 4:8).
There are health advantages to keeping in shape, but you appear to be after more than physical health. You exercise as a way to enhance your looks. The problem with your goal is that it won’t last. Though talking to women, the point is the same, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing” (Proverbs 30:31). No amount of exercise is going to allow you to retain your looks. It will eventually be lost “because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away” (I Peter 1:24).
What makes this sadder is that you appear to put more emphasis on something that won’t last and neglecting the one that will last forever. “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity. Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”” (Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1). So put that youthful energy into something that is both enjoyable and productive in the long run.
As far as turning bodybuilding into a ministry, I think you already realize it won’t work. You can’t take something that puts heavy emphasis on the temporary and expects that it will lead to something permanent. God has selected the way that will pull people to Him. It works because it puts the emphasis in the right place in people’s hearts. “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (I Corinthians 1:21). If you want to reach people for God, be content to follow God.