While training the body is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

1 Timothy 4: 8

 

A lot of people exercise, some of us even do it with some regularity. During a healthy walk through the neighborhood I will usually encounter people running, riding bikes, and playing sports in the nearby park. Although statistics keep pointing to the fact that we are becoming a society of people who don’t engage in physical activity and who are, therefore, overweight and facing a health crisis, there are certainly many who are working at physically training their bodies. Yet, Paul, perhaps a former athlete himself, tells us about the long-standing nature of this issue with the condition of our bodies.

 

In the apostle’s way of seeing things there was nothing wrong with working out. He says that it is of some value, and I would imagine that the life that he lived would validate this. Remember that Paul walked thousands of miles over rough, harsh and mountainous terrain and that on occasion he was required to swim for his life in the open sea. Still, the life sustaining and life saving aspects of being in shape are only of “some value”. Instead, Paul views the training of the heart and the mind in the ways of God to be what matters the most. I think that he would even say that this training in godliness was what had actually pulled him through all of the hard and dangerous times that he encountered along the road that Christ called upon him to follow.

 

People learn in various ways and retain what we are exposed to by the use of different means and tactics. Yet in all of these processes of learning there is one constant factor. This constant is repetitive use. The more we put what we have encountered in the form of knowledge and fact to use in our daily lives, the more it will become a part of how we function. So, as we encounter the fact of God’s grace and mercy in His Word and as Christ grants them to us, we will grow in these Godly characteristics as we demonstrate them by the way that we engage others. As God loves us with a love that sacrifices all for the sake of our lives, so we also grow in our Christ-likeness as we pour out this same unconditional love on others in all circumstances.

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