“But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
I Timothy 4:7, 8
This wonderful passage of Scripture presents a truth that many in our world cannot relate to. It makes the declaration that “godliness is profitable unto all things.” This contradicts the popular notion, even among some professors of Christ, that godliness or spirituality has its place, but does not relate to all of life. It is not unusual to find those who believe that religion is certainly appropriate on Sunday or in church, but it is not welcome or necessary in the classroom, courtroom, workplace, or in politics. However, God says that godliness is profitable in every part of life.
Godliness is piety, holiness, or true spirituality. It is becoming more Christ-like in our personal lives. We are told in our text to “exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” Godliness begins at the time of our salvation, but it continues through spiritual exercise. This implies discipline, training, and spiritual growth. Godliness progresses as the result of removing things from our lives that are not spiritually profitable and bringing into our lives principles and practices that further our spiritual growth. Godliness is formed through Bible reading, prayer, faithful church attendance, and Christian service.
There is merit to bodily exercise, but it is only for a short time. Spiritual exercise is superior to physical exercise and benefits every area of our lives. Godliness will positively influence us in all aspects of our spiritual journey. It will make us better family members, citizens, students, employees, and friends. Godliness will have a desirable affect on every area of our lives. Because this is true, the opposite can be said about the absence of godliness. If we are not exercising ourselves spiritually, we will not be experiencing God’s best and blessing in all areas of our lives. Our Christian experience will be less than what God intends for it to be. Godliness will also benefit us in eternity, “having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” The benefits of physical exercise are only temporary, while the results of spiritual exercise and godliness are abundant both in this life and throughout all eternity.