1 Timothy 4:8 (New American Standard Bible)
8For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
One cannot live in the modern world without hearing about health supplements, exercise and dieting. You must keep yourself healthy and fit, we hear.
God expects us to care for our bodies! Our physical bodies are very important. God certainly expects us to do what we can to stay healthy. Much of the Old Testament Law was given to provide good health directives. God was very careful to include good health and hygiene practices in his Statutes. Jesus provided for our healing at the whipping post. (Isaiah 53:5) Yet, with all of this, we find that “bodily discipline is of little profit.”
Physical and spiritual exercise is needed! We know that sin and sickness are closely connected. Many of our infirmities are the result of spiritual carelessness or impropriety. Such things as anxiety, bitterness, hate, malice, rebellion, unforgiveness and worry play a great part in our physical health. They influence our chemical balance, immune system, metabolism and weight as well as our stamina and strength. Most people spend far more emphasis on physical exercise than spiritual discipline. Many of God’s people are unaware of the physical implications of spiritual disobedience. Some suffer various infirmities because of careless indifference to the statutes of God.
Godliness is profitable for all things! One who walks in obedience to the statutes of God will find both physical and spiritual benefits. We were created to function in both. A wholesome, righteous life produces calm and peaceful experiences. One who has been redeemed should be free from worry and care. Tension and stress should dissipate into relaxed contentment and joy. One who walks uprightly before the Lord can cast all their care upon him. (1 Peter 5:7)
Enjoy today; prepare for eternity! Godliness holds promise for life today and the life to come. We must balance our time. The many hours spent in bodily exercise could be better spent in learning and practicing spiritual obedience. Those who follow the directives of God will experience both physical and spiritual health on a daily basis. Those who put their spiritual relationship with God first will find it takes much less effort to keep their physical body firm. Spiritual exercise comes first, the physical second.
Prayer: My Heavenly Father, I know that I sometimes neglect your fellowship. I am careless about spiritual discipline. Please help me to keep my priorities correct. I want to seek spiritual health first. I know that the spiritually upright can walk in your promise of bodily strength. Teach me to give proper time and attention to both my spiritual and physical need. I Pray in the name of my Lord and Redeemer, Jesus the Christ. Amen.