“…Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next” (I Tim.4:7-8).
This gives insight into both spiritual and physical fitness. First, both are seen as necessary. Paul does indicate that physical exercise has value. But in context of what we know today it may have a higher value then he placed on it.
Second, Paul values spiritual fitness more highly than physical fitness. The primary reason is that spiritual fitness is in two dimensions: Our present reality and our future realization. The physical exercise is limited to our present reality.
Third, Paul would not be balanced in these. Since he places more importance on the spiritual this would seem to indicate that if one was to suffer it should be the physical. I am not sure I can wholeheartedly agree with this.
Yes, I know it is the Bible, but we have information today that Paul did not have. I believe that if Paul were to write to leaders today I think, I think, he would move toward balance. Both physical and spiritual fitness are needed. A leader who can find that balance will be leveraged for the long haul here and prepared for the even longer haul of eternity.
The realistic view is we have anemic leaders in both categories. We have leaders who have little exercise and also have minimal investment in spiritual endeavors. Currently I am lopsided to the physical side: Very diligent there, not so much on the spiritual. My ideal world would have me spending time in spiritual fitness for every minute for physical fitness. If this were my reality I would be investing fifty minutes, five days a week, in some form of spiritual activity. At this point, I would be thrilled if I simply invested five days per week for any amount of time.