About The Author

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Daughter of the King - born from above in 1989.

Deborah grew up in a military family and moved to Florida in the early 1970's.  She began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus as her personal Savior. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her writing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Exercise Profits Nothing – At Least Not The Way You Think…

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There’s just no way to avoid it.  It blares loudly on the TV, broadcasts over the radio, and pops up repeatedly on the internet.  

Everywhere you turn there are gadgets to help you get fit and trim, companies trying to sell you another exercise or diet plan, and various programs extolling the virtues of the latest workout routine.

I was listening to a pastor’s message on the Christian radio station in my area, and heard a familiar verse that some have used in a humorous way. But as I listened to his sermon, I began to hear and understand it in a whole new light.

I Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

Another translation puts it this way:  "...physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things ..."

A brisk walk lowers blood pressure, lessens your cholesterol, and reduces stress on the body. Engaging in some form of regular physical exercise will generally add years to your lifespan. Exercise helps to reduce harmful chemicals in our bodies, and provides a form of abreaction (letting off steam), helps to build up stamina, counteracts the biochemical effects of stress, and reduces the risk of psychological illness.

As Christians, we house the Holy Spirit, and our temple needs to be strong and fit.  Health and fitness are godly goals when they are balanced with common sense and right priority. 

In biblical times, physical exercise was not touted as necessary because people living in that time period generally walked everywhere and performed manual labor on a routine basis. Their diet consisted primarily of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, sheep & goat dairy products and fish.

However, exercise can become a means to an end that can mimic idol worship if it is not properly monitored.

Verse 7 prefaces the previous passage in I Timothy 4 with the following, “…and exercise yourself rather to godliness.”

Spiritually speaking, when we exercise godliness through prayer, bible study, and self-control, we keep our spiritual man healthy. But what good is it if we take care of the physical body, but neglect our spiritual man and coddle our sinful nature?

The eternal value mentioned in verse 8 is the promise of the life that is to come. Paul makes it clear that whatever we are doing for the here and now is indeed profitable – even commendable, but that which is to come, is of greater value and lasting. Taking care of the spirit man, which is incorruptible and lives forever, is far more important than maintaining a corruptible body that will slowly decay in this world.

Matthew Henry explains the passage this way in his Commentary:  “Those who would be godly must exercise themselves unto godliness; it requires a constant exercise…The encouragement which we have to proceed in the ways of godliness is evident. Will the profit balance the loss? Here is another of Paul’s faithful sayings, worthy of all acceptation – that all our labours and losses in the service of God will be abundantly recompenced, so that though we lose for Christ we shall not lose by him."

Exercise is not my god, nor do I place my fate in its hands.  Sure, I still go to body-pump and cycle classes at the local YMCA. I faithfully walk my two dogs every morning for almost an hour. I make it a point to stay active, eat right, and get a good night’s sleep. But for me, keeping my Spirit woman healthy and fit is a higher, God-ordained priority.

What has God spoken to you about your spiritual workout lately?  Do you need a "mini boot camp" to whip yourself into shape - or would a long-term maintenance plan be the best thing for your spiritual well being?

Share with me your successes or failures as we strive to stay in top spiritual shape...

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 

If you have been encouraged by this post - please take time to share it with others.


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