“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8 NKJV)
The Greek ideal looked for perfection in all areas of life. Building up the body was an essential part of that perfection. It was seen especially among those who competed in athletic contests. It’s important to keep our bodies in good shape. We feel better. We’re able to deal with problems better. It may help us avoid illnesses. The problem with building an ideal body is that when we grow old, the body sags in different ways and it’s a lot harder to maintain. Then, once we die, it doesn’t do us any good at all. Growing in godliness, though, not only is profitable now as we experience life in relationship with God, it’s also profitable for life after death because we’ll be transferring the joy of our relationship with God on earth to our eternal relationship with God.
We tend to have the same body-obsessed culture that the Greeks had. We now have gyms on every corner, or so it seems. Our advertising agencies always look for perfect bodies to show off their wares. Many, unable to achieve their understanding of a perfect body, undergo surgery to fix their “defects.” At the same time, those of us with less than perfect bodies fight back, often complaining about body shaming. Our goal in life, shouldn’t be perfectly sculpted bodies, although there’s nothing wrong with having one; our goal should be to develop godliness. We need to develop our relationship with God. We do that through Bible reading, prayer, meditation on God’s word, Bible study, worship, fellowship with other believers, and so many more things that you may have heard about all your life. There’s nothing better you can do for yourself and others is to grow and inspire others to grow in godliness. So, work on building your body for better physical health, but do that after you develop a godly lifestyle for better spiritual health.
Lord, these bodies that we’re living in will pass away, but our relationship with You never will. Help me to grow in godliness. Use me to inspire others to grow in their relationship with You as well.