The below was sent to me from someone in our church family who has been pondering (struggling) about the place of fitness in a Christian’s life. It seems to me that they are on the right track – sorry for the pun!
Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
(1 Timothy 4:7b -8)
What is godliness? Godliness is taking on the very attributes of God. It includes unconditional love, forgiveness, grace, mercy and selflessness. These are in stark contrast to what the world provides.
A training comparison:
- The athlete exercises his muscles… he/she does it by stressing and straining the muscles, working to build the muscle up over time. The Christian exercises his faith, by constantly putting his faith in God, trusting God for the things we need, relying upon Him completely. When we trust in God it builds and strengthens our faith, just as the athlete builds his muscles.
- The athlete disciplines himself to exercise. The Christian must also use discipline: to study, not just to read the Bible. He/she should be on ‘just as rigid a training schedule’ as any athlete, as Bible study is one of the major keys to godliness, and we cannot expect to become godly without serious and constant Bible study.
- The athlete carefully watches his/her diet. The Christian must watch what he takes into his/her mind. He must make sure that WHAT he puts into it will be profitable to godliness. This includes getting enough of the Word.
- The athlete gets the rest he/she needs. Rest for a Christian takes the form of a Sabbath rest as well as devotion and prayer. Communion with God revitalises the soul. The peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), is only received by those who get His rest.
Dear God; you are the wonderful example of love and grace. Please help me to train in godliness so that I can shine out with your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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