“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.”
– 1 Timothy 4:7–8
So you see the contrast here, it’s pretty clear. Bodily training is of some value. So let’s just acknowledge that bodily training, training your body, physical training is valuable. And it’s a good word. We see it in different ways all throughout scripture. Ultimately the reality that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and we want to glorify God with our bodies.
1 Timothy 4:7–8 Reminds Us to Pray for the Church
The church is united by Christ. We are a family. Prioritize praying for the local church which you are apart of.
So we think through how do we honor God through self-discipline, self control in our bodies through the health of our bodies. We spend time there, but there’s a temptation here. So one, it’s to ignore the care of our bodies and not to see bodily training as valuable. The other temptation is to idolize the care of our body. So to put so much focus on looking a certain way, being at certain health, eating a certain way, whatever it might be, so that we’re so focused there and we spend so much time and so much attention there that we actually neglect what is infinitely more valuable. Infinitely.
So bodily training is of some value, but godliness is a value, I love this phrase, in every way. In every way. Like there’s no way that training in godliness is not valuable. It’s valuable in every way because it holds promise, not just for this life. So yes, bodily training holds value for this life, but godly training holds value for this life and for the life to come. That’s why I say it’s infinitely more valuable because 10 billion years from now, your life is going to be affected by the training you do in godliness today in a way that it’s not going to be affected by the training you do in the gym today.
1 Timothy 4:7–8 Reminds Us to Train in Godliness
So see the infinite value of training in godliness and then take this, think about our culture and in many ways the craze over bodily training on how to eat right exercise and say, yes, that’s valuable but it’s not infinitely valuable. And so I’m going to train well like I want to honor God with my body. I want to train well, eat well, exercise well and then infinitely more important, I want to train for godliness. So is that true in your life? Are you training for, are you doing bodily training like it’s valuable and are you doing training in godliness like it’s infinitely valuable?
Is that evident in the way you pray, the way you dive into the word, the way you exercise your spiritual disciplines? When it comes to fasting, when it comes to fostering community in the church, loving one another, caring for one another, serving one another, when it comes to sharing the gospel, when it comes to spiritual disciplines that we grow in, are you spending time, attention, giving focus to these things? Like that’s infinitely valuable. That’s infinitely valuable while giving attention to bodily training. It is valuable, but nowhere near as valuable as this over here.
This Verse Leads Us to Pray for Help
So God, we pray that you would help us to get this right. Help us to train bodily, physically like there is value there. Help us not to ignore the care of our bodies and help us not to idolize the care of our bodies. And we pray that you would help us to train for godliness like it’s infinitely valuable, that you would make us more and more and more like Jesus. More and more every day through our time with you in prayer, through our time with you in your word. Make us students of the Word where we’re training in your word. Make us disciple-makers who are training others, teaching others to obey you, who are sharing the gospel, the good news of your grace with others, and helping them come to know you and then walk with you.
Helping other people walk with you, loving others, caring for others, serving others, laying down our lives for others. Help us to train in godliness like it’s infinitely valuable because we know it is, because we know it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come forever. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.