Finding Your Identity In Faith And Fitness

Identity. It’s a word you throw around too easily. Maybe you use it to define your occupation, your relationship status or your financial situation. In the fitness industry you might even find your worth and status is tied up in phrases like  - “How much do you bench?” , “What’s your squat”, “How much do you weigh?” , “What’s your body fat percentage” , etc. Almost as if the answers to these questions answer who you are or what truly embodies you and your ability. You often put too much emphasis on these things, not because they are inherently bad, but because you believe they define who you are and what you will always be. 
Again, having a low body fat percentage, lifting a lot of weight or seeking to be in the best shape possible is not bad. But, when you become too enamored by the number on the scale, the weight on the bar, or the person you see in the mirror we nearly approach a life outside of God’s original intention. That is, a life that is bound by something other than an identity rightly centered in Jesus.

1 Timothy 4:8 reads, “bodily training is of some value, but godliness holds value for the present life and also for the life to come.” This explains a dichotomy between two things - 1. Bodily training, 2. Training for godliness.

Both of which have value, but one that has more value than the other.

Training for godliness trains you for eternity, while training for bodily gain holds some value but is not something you can bring into eternity.

The identity you are called to is an identity that is stable, opportunistic and profitable for life eternal - that is an identity in Christ and the seeking of Christlikeness.

Work hard, train hard, build yourself physically and consistently, but do not allow your identity to be defined by your physical appearance and accomplishments. Rather seek an identity that is bound and trusted in eternity - an identity centered in Christ.


Ryan is a former competitive athlete and the owner of LRX Apparel. He is passionate about Jesus and encouraging others. You can follow him @ryanahusband.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published