According to at least one website, 80% of those who joined a gym in January 2012 in that part of the States quit within 5 months
So is the message, don’t join a gym? Of course not. A gym can be a really good way of you getting exercise in your life. We can all benefit from having some way of keeping healthy and fit including exercise – for example, walking, cycling, swimming, a team sport or going to a gym.
In the New Testament, we can read these words,
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 (New International Version) Just before this, we can also read, “train yourself to be godly”. The Greek word for ‘train’ is the one from which we get gymnasium.
There is value in exercise – let’s not neglect it if at all possible. Yet the apostle Paul writing to Timothy as a young leader points out about ‘godliness’ having value for all things – both for life now and in eternity.
Godliness is not a completely easy word to define. Jerry Bridges in his book, “Pursuit of Godliness” defines it as ‘devotion in action’.
It relates to who we are ‘on the inside’, in relation to who God is and His working in our lives but also how this impacts in our interaction with others. It also touches on wholeness. God is not fractured nor are we called to be!
Godliness is not something we are called to be/do on our own! Peter wrote, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence…” (2 Peter 1:3, English Standard Version)
His power at work within us! What might that mean in our families, jobs, study courses or neighbourhoods?
At times it is good to check up on our physical well-being – things like diet, exercise and sleep. Also it is healthy to actually check up at times on how the ‘whole’ of us is doing.
How do we see God? Are we growing in godliness? How are our ‘spiritually fitness’ levels?