But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.
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. I Timothy 4:7-8 (NKJV)
Last August, Karina (7) broke her right arm. After taking the cast off, we have been given the daily task of exercising her arm to stretch out muscles that have not been used for several weeks. We have found out stretching these unused muscles is not only a daily effort but also not much fun for Karina, mommy or daddy. As the exercise of that arm continues, we make slow and gradual progress and someday she will use her arm freely again.
There is a similar effect that happens with some of our “spiritual” muscles. Perhaps there are some muscles in our spiritual life that we have not used for a while and those muscles have become very comfortable in that position. God has come to you in His Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit to start the stretching sessions. If this spiritual muscle is anything like stretching out physical muscles it hurts. Some of those spiritual muscles that God may be stretching out in you could include, “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5).”
The above Scripture passage directs us as God’s people to “exercise yourself toward godliness.” Spiritual exercise, like physical exercise, takes discipline and is hard work and tiring with good results. Through that hard work your spiritual endurance level will increase. The goal in spiritual exercise is always moving you toward godliness.
Why exercise spiritually? The above passage tells us what we know in that jogging, walking, aerobics, swimming, sports, jumping jacks, fencing, pushing the button on the remote (ok maybe only the thumb ) is good for us. We discover in this passage of Scripture that spiritual exercise toward godliness is profitable for all things with a promise in it as well. Godly exercise is profitable not only in this life here in Golden Valley, Dodge, Edinburg, or wherever you may live, but also in the life to come, mainly heaven.