Dr. Edward Laskowski of The Mayo Clinic tells us that we need 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. There are almost as many health clubs scattered around town as there are Starbucks, but you can’t get in shape unless you make sacrifices, are willing to endure the pain, and make it a priority in your life.
There’s nothing new about the importance of exercise. In our memory verse for the week, the Apostle Paul says, “For physical training is some value…” The word, “training” in Greek is “????????” (gumnasia), the very word from which we get our word “gymnasium.” Paul was no personal trainer, didn’t own a gym, and for all we know he never owned a pair of Nike shoes, but he knew the benefit of exercise. He also knew that there was something that would pay even greater dividends in life and that was training in godliness. Paul, after saying that physical training is of some value, said, “but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Just think about the difference it would make if we applied ourselves to godliness in the same way that athletes commit themselves to developing their skills and getting in shape.
Why do athletes prepare with such passion and hone their skills with such precision? Isn’t it to be prepared for whatever they will encounter on the court or the field? We should approach our spiritual life; reading God’s Word, spending time in prayer, and applying lessons we learn from both to the everyday experiences we face in life. Practice forgiveness if you want to be able to truly forgive. Practice trusting God when life gets a little rough in order that you might trust God when life gets unbearable. Practice praying when the seas of life are calm so that prayer will be your first option when the storms of life rage. Practice loving others at all times so that you will be able to love people even when they are unlovable. If you and I will commit to training in the Lord’s gym, day-in and day-out, then we will see the benefits of our training in our everyday life.
1 Timothy 4:8