“ Your choices today will determine your fitness tomorrow” is the first of many highlights by Ronnie Floyd in his new book Living Fit: Making Your Life Count by Pursuing a Healthy You published by B&H Publishing Group in 2018. The book contains five sections divided into twenty chapters. The main sections discuss how to live fit spiritually, physically, relationally, financially, and emotionally. Each chapter provides a Scriptural foundation with imbedded questions to help the reader personalize the information for life change.
Living fit spiritually focuses on living a purposeful life with intentionality. Floyd states, “The process always precedes the product” (p. 21); a theme he repeats throughout the text. If the goal is a holistic healthy life then there is a process to be followed over time. Fitness is not achieved without discipline and direction based on a foundation of spiritual maturity.
Living fit physically centers on life’s dependence on each decision made. Physical fitness is equally coupled with spiritual, relational, financial, and emotional fitness as it is on eating right and exercise. “Refuse to see your life as being compartmentalized. You are not divided and cannot live like you are” (p. 53). Floyd goes on to state we have four major problems in our lives. “We have a mind problem, a will problem, an emotional problem, and a body problem” (p. 57). Each of these areas must be addressed for whole body fitness. To do so we must see ourselves as a whole person and not focus on the parts (1 Thessalonians 5:23). To give God control of our body is part of giving Him control over our life.
Living fit relationally challenges the reader to live selflessly, lovingly, truly connected to others, as expressed through service. Much of the information on relational living is based on servant leadership as described by Greenleaf. Biblical servant leadership takes the idea of service to others and shifts to purpose to the glorification of God. By serving others with humility our relationships will be stronger. “Serving others always results in a healthy relationship” (p. 115).
Living fit financially provided five principles for financial stability. Floyd suggests, being on a budget, getting out of debt, saving money, focusing on quality relationships, and being generous will lead to financial health. “When you refuse to think about practical matters like monthly expenses, healthcare, life insurance, and retirement, you are living irresponsibly” (p. 137).
Living fit emotionally emphasizes paying attention to the warning signs our life gives us when trouble is coming. Life should be ordered and not chaotic. When your body is sending you emotional signals of worry, frustration, or pain it is important to listen and take action. “The goal is not personal perfection, but personal progress” (p. 160). Floyd says one of the best ways to live emotionally fit is to live gratefully. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way in making us less anxious about the future.
In summary, the book was not what I expected, but it was exactly what I needed. Each chapter is embedded with Scripture to always bring the reader back to the place of dependence on God. What I most liked about the book was the holistic approach to health. Success in one area is not complete without a balanced discipline in all the areas. While human flesh might succeed for a while, we cannot maintain a healthy lifestyle on our own.
The introduction suggested that the reader should periodically “step back” and take account of what was read. This was excellent advice and I would encourage you to do the same. The book is a quick read, maybe a couple of hours, but to really take in the information for life change it should be read slowly letting the nuance of each section soak into our minds. This is the type of book you will read more than once. Scan it quickly the first time to get an aerial view of the information, but then slowly dive deep into each section for application and conviction. This was a great book for personal use, but I would also recommend it for group study. Each chapter contains challenge questions that are perfect for group discussions.
Disclosure: This is an unsolicited review made without input or direction from the author or publisher. A copy of the book was provided for the review.