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 4:8
We all know the importance of taking care of our bodies, but how easily it is to fail to do so! As a person with heart issues, I know I need to eat healthy foods and exercise every day! The benefits of exercise are well-known and our family physician has often said that if “exercise” could be bottled and placed on the shelf, very few people would need medical care!
Some weeks I am really diligent about walking and even enjoy it, and others, I let too many things get in the way! But I have to admit that I feel so much better when I do. I have more energy, I feel refreshed and healthier, and it definitely puts me in a better frame of mind!
But isn’t it amazing how much time, energy, thought, and money we put into improving our physical bodies, but how little we put into building our “spiritual ones”? It’s humbling to think about!
A recent Gallup annual Well-being poll showed that a little over 50% of Americans exercise at least 30 minutes for 3 or more days a week. Obviously, we all could do better – if we had the time! Another amazing number found in the Nielson Report is that the average American over the age of 2 spends 34 hours a week watching TV, plus another 3 to 6 hours watching taped programs or movies. We need time to relax our bodies and minds, but often what meaningless activities we do!
Can you imagine if participants were asked how much time they spend each day or week promoting their spiritual well-being, what the answer would be? If only we would put a small portion of our time and energy into improving our spiritual health, we would be much more refreshed, invigorated, and filled with contentment, peace, and joy! Nothing like a good “workout” with Him and a healthy “serving” of His Word filled with His love, presence, and grace to make us more “spiritually fit”! It might even give us a new “bounce in our step” that we haven’t had in awhile, as we see life through His eyes!
The road to healthy bodies begins in the soul, and if we truly want to be fit for life, we need to put time and energy into our spiritual care as well. Just as we should watch what we eat, we need to choose our life principles and monitor what we put into our minds and especially our hearts. God has called us to live great and godly lives.
Being spiritually healthy requires as much time and discipline as being physically healthy. We need to set aside time for reading His Word, studying, praying, meditating, and especially, we need to set aside time to praise and worship our Giver and Sustainer of life. We need to be strong in faith and focus on what is truly important in life. It is so easy to dilute God right out of our system and fill it with unhealthy choices, as we do with our physical bodies.
Getting in shape is important, but it shouldn’t be the thing we value most. God wants our lives to have value and not be empty and meaningless. He created us to have fellowship with Him and to be fulfilled in our relationships with Him and with others. Centering our lives on Him gives us peace, contentment, hope in uncertain times, and much joy. “Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
Dear God, may we look at our priorities and focus our lives more on you. May we build up not only our physical bodies but our spiritual ones, as well, by reading your Word, spending time with you, and loving others. May we desire to lead godly lives in your most holy name. Amen