The Value Of Bodily Exercise

December 17, 2014

The Value Of Bodily Exercise

The Bible has something to say about bodily exercise.  It is found in I Timothy 4:8.  “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.”  The Apostle Paul isn’t saying that bodily exercise doesn’t do us any good.  He is making a comparison between bodily exercise and godliness.

Paul wrote this epistle to young Timothy. “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity”            (I Timothy 4:12).  Most young people give importance to bodily exercise.  They have more than one reason for thinking it is important.  In high school they participate in athletics.  That requires a strong body.  They are motivated to exert themselves on behalf of their team.  They want the praise that comes from being a winner.  They also want to have an attractive physical body.  It makes them more attractive to the opposite sex.

People spend money on exercise equipment; tread mills, bench presses, etc.  They may not get used much, but those who buy them at least have good intentions.  Doctors tell us that exercise is good for all of us.  Couch potatoes put their health at risk

We know that the Apostle Paul saw the importance of bodily exercise because of what he wrote in I Corinthians 9:26-27.  “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:    But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” In Romans 12:1 Paul exhorts us to present our body to God.  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  Gods want us to be able to use our bodies to serve him.   The stronger our body is, the better we can serve God with it.

Yes, bodily exercise is of value, but Paul wants us to know that godliness is of much greater value.  It is profitable.  He says that again in I Timothy 6:6.  “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” He isn’t thinking of economic value.  To do God’s will makes us recipients of the blessing of God.  Psalm 40:4 says, “Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”  Those words “blessed is the man” occur many times in the Bible.  Women are included in that too.  It comes by taking heed to God’s word and doing what he tells us to do.

The word “godliness” means reverence and respect for God.  It is to take God and his will into consideration in our daily activities.  Godliness also includes respect for and appreciation for that which is spiritual.  If we are negligent in our spiritual responsibilities we are not being godly.  Spending time daily in prayer and reading the Bible should be a habit with us.  Psalm 5:3 says, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” It should also include active participation in a local church where the Bible is taught and practiced, because that is something God has provided for us.  Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

In today’s society godly people are often called fanatics.  Don’t let that discourage you.  What God says should carry more weight than what your critics say.  Paul says godliness is profitable, both for the life that now is and of that which is to come

There is a limit to that which we can gain from bodily exercise.  There is no limit to the gain of godliness.   We seldom find those who are excessively occupied in godliness.  People in this world who have no respect for God tend to think that anything we do for God is in vain.  Godly people don’t let them set standards for them.

Keep walking, running, or whatever you do for the good of your body.  Don’t neglect godliness.  The day will come when we will leave this body behind, but what we have gained by godliness will be with us forever.  Spiritual, godly people know what is of value.  The more godly you are, the more discerning you will be.










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