“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” I Timothy 4:8
Happy New Year! 2013 is here and hopefully our resolutions, plans or vision for the year are taking shape. Getting in better physical shape is a big resolution for many people during this time of the year.
In 2012, I didn’t start off with any major fitness plans, but ended the year feeling great about my physical fitness level. January found me walking about 2 miles several times a week and doing some light weight work outs to keep toned. December ended with my being able to run 6 miles without stopping, participating in 4 5K races and currently training for a 10K in March! The end of the year left me feeling fantastic, energetic, full of vitality and loving how my body looked. But…it wasn’t easy.
Fitness takes diligence, discipline, perseverance, faithfulness and endurance. To become more fit, you must keep moving forward. Times must be set to exercise, diligence must be put in place to not cave in to temptation of sitting on the couch or eating tons of chocolate. Endurance is built by pushing through challenging workouts. But, in the long run…it is worth it!
This verse shares that bodily exercise is good, but to exercise or train ourselves in godliness is better. In fact, many of the same traits are needed to grow our spiritual muscles:
Determination – more than a hope or a plan, but action.
Endurance - Getting a plan to grow our faith – a daily dose of God’s Word and prayer and keeping to it. It means digging in further and learning more and more.
Discipline – Doing what is right and true – over and over again until it becomes a habit - even when this is the harder choice.
Sacrifice - Growing spiritually will often require you to choose between worldly pleasures or eternal treasures. For positive results, the choice is simple–follow Christ.
May we be encouraged to grow in our faith this year. If we want to mature spiritually, we must exercise spiritually. The benefits of training for godliness will far surpass anything we can do physically. These benefits will not only bless us, but bless those around us and point others to our Lord. Let’s determine to develop godliness… Work out your faith – you will love the results!