I know, I Timothy 4:8 Says that bodily exercise profits little. Most translations say that it is profitable but godliness even more.
I think this passage is using exercise as an analogy to help me to understand and to motivate me to do what it takes to be godly. Think of the amount of work that we are willing to put into feeling and functioning better physically; (running, doing pushups, eating right, sleeping right, and developing disciplined habits). We push ourselves, living out the saying, “No pain–No gain!” And, after all that work, the gain, though real, is limited.
But when asked to fast, memorize scripture, pray without ceasing, talk about the Lord with others etc., we seem to feel that these disciplines are asking too much. Too much effort for too little gain. (Of course in Sunday school we would not say so, but in the time we invest it is clear that we think so.)
So what are the benefits of exercise? Paul says that he kept his body under and brought it into subjection, to avoid spiritual danger. I Corinthians 9:27 We can use exercise as a picture of the spiritual life and apply what we learn keeping fit to what we need to do to allow God to strengthen and grow our spiritual muscle. Remember that Jesus pointed out that, “these things come out only by fasting and prayer, fast and pray that ye enter not into temptation”
1. Exercise functions similarly to fasting, that the deliberate self denial involved does help put things into right priority.
- It adds to our IQ about 5 points. Well, that may not seem like much to you, but I need every scrap I can muster! For this benefit I must do 10 minutes of cardio daily.
3.It maintains my ability to serve God and others. Muscle maintenance and ligament stretching allow me to help with projects and take care of my loved ones.
4.It gives me dedicated time to focus on the Lord without distractions.
I see so many people try to pull their life together and start with losing weight and exercise but stop there. No, it may be a good start but they need to transfer the dedication and labor and good feeling that come into also working on more strength to interpret the word and pray and sing.