We are all aware that regular exercise is vital and essential for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise supports physical and mental well being. In addition to having better health, working out increases your energy level and reduces stress. It’s important. But let’s be honest…Who has the time? Are we not busy enough? On an average day my to-do-list is a mile long and I’m sure you are no different. But there comes a time when you realize the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience and decide to make it a priority. Dana and I came to that conclusion. We signed up for a gym membership and have been faithfully (for the most part) going together each morning at 5 a.m. My first goal was to make it a habit by going for 21 days. Now that I have met this goal I am working on increasing my stamina. I am walking on the treadmill for three miles and, in addition, every other day I use the machines to tone various muscles.
While exercise has value there is a truth to it. I Timothy 4:8 states that “bodily exercise profiteth little.” Exercise does profit, but only for a short duration. If I stop going to the gym tomorrow, all the work that I have done up until now will be lost. And even if I continue to exercise my entire life, the advantage I gain from it is for this life only. There is no eternal compensation for physical exercise. However, for the Christian there is an exercise that is profitable in all ways.
“…exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come,” 1 Timothy 4:7-8. Training ourselves in godliness will be beneficial in this world and the one to come. Therefore, it seems to me that while I should continue to go to the gym each day, this spiritual exercise should be more of a priority in my life.
What does exercising unto godliness look like? First, I Timothy 2:10 tells me how I should adorn myself as a Christian woman. “But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” Therefore, doing good works is a part of godliness. This takes practice (training, exercise). It takes a consistent effort (workout). And it takes a child of God, with knowledge of God, to have the power to live with godliness. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue,” 2 Peter 1:3. We also are told that it is a process. Just as becoming strong takes physical exercise, godliness takes diligent work step by step. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness,” 2 Peter 1:5-6.
I use to believe that going to the gym was just for those who were already fit and trim. However, this is not the case. While several of the people at the gym are in excellent shape, there are those there who are in terrible shape. But they are striving nonetheless. There is also a misconception that it is impossible to live godly in today’s world. In truth, it is for the unbeliever, but for a child of God this is not true. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,” Titus 2:11-13. We will not attain perfectly but we should be striving. Why? Because when we exercise unto godliness it is profitable for this life and in the one to come.
Lord, You know my heart’s desire to strive in my daily walk, to reach forth and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling. Lord, help me to remember these truths, meditate upon them, and work them out in my life. Help me to profess godliness and adorn myself with good works every day of my life.