Today’s reading is 2 Chronicles 5-7, Psalm 121, 1 Timothy 4.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 reads…
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
What is godliness? Dictionary.com states it is “the quality or practice of conforming to the laws and wishes of God, devoutness and moral uprightness.”
An article I read from http://ath.co written on December 16, 2022 said Americans spend $33 billion per year on weight loss programs alone with 45 million people in the US putting themselves on a diet yearly. Another article from http://blog.marketresearch written on August 2, 2021 stated the self-improvement market was over $11.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to be $14 billion in 2025.
There is a saying, “image is everything”…but is it? The Bible tells us the body is a temple in 1 Corinthians 6:19. So, it is wise to take care of our bodies which God created for His glory, but is that the motivation behind most of our workouts and weight loss programs or are we just worried about what other people think about us? And in my opinion, other self-help books, programs, and coaching which does not include God may lead to short term success and results but will eventually lead to emptiness because feeling good and earthly success is fleeting. One day you’re the regional sales leader and the next day your being let go due to down-sizing. This world is a “what have you done for me lately” place. Just ask future hall of famer Chris Paul who led the Phoenix Suns to their 1st NBA Championship appearance in 21 years in 2021 and this past year he averaged a solid 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, and 4.3 rebounds…only to likely be traded this week to the Washington Wizards for the younger Bradley Beal.
The Bible is clear here in 1 Timothy 4:7-8 that training for godliness so we act in a way to please God is much more important than training for our looks or earthly success because it has eternal value. We should only be worried about what God thinks and strive to please him.
Pastor Francis Chan gave a talk I saw once with a rope that seemed to go on forever representing eternity. He had a small black strip of tape around it in one little spot representing our life here on Earth. He illustrated how most all of us spend our time worrying and focusing on the little black piece of tape. What we really should be focused on and in this case training for is the rest of the rope…eternity!
What is one daily habit you can start or improve on to train for godliness and draw you closer to Jesus which is the only thing that really matters in this life and most importantly the next?