“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 [NIV}
I love a brand new year! It symbolizes a fresh start for many people, including myself. Every January, I jump on the bandwagon to make my health and fitness a priority. This year, I have my Fitbit to keep me on track and motivated to move more and sleep more. Yes, this gadget tracks your sleep! However, as important as it is to workout, eat well, and sleep enough, having a godly life is the chief factor to good health.
I’m not suggesting we ignore all the good things that make and keep us healthy like omitting good diet and exercise. God desires us to have healthy minds and bodies as well as clean hearts. The fruit of the spirit, which represent a true Christian life, includes nine visible attributes. One of those attributes is self-control, an important ability to have for the mind and body. In this case, self-control can give us victory over eating or drinking too much. The Bible promises that having the fruit of the spirit, the characteristic of a godly life, brings health and strength to our body. That’s a promise I choose to stand on!
As much as God loves all his children, his benefits do not cover those who choose to live in sin. The Bible provides a dramatic illustration of this truth through the story of King David.
King David was one of the greatest warriors who ever lived. He’s most remembered for defeating the giant, Goliath, though he also led Israel to many important battle wins throughout his reign. God had preserved King David’s health and strength throughout his life up until the time David sinned against God by having an affair with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his mighty men. In Psalm 32, King David describes the physical pain and agony he felt during that dark time. Fortunately, King David recognized his important need for repentance, the act of confession and turning away from sin, which saved his spirit and body in the end.
King David’s story is a great reminder that God’s instruction for our lives is quite simple: fear God and walk away from evil. It reaps many benefits for us spiritually, mentally, and physically. God’s ways are more life-changing to our health than what any program or recipe can offer.
- Am I motivated to live a healthy lifestyle? If not, why?
- What sin do I need to repent of and walk away from, if any?
- Do my health goals, if any, glorify God or glorify me?
Father, thank you for showing us how to live a godly life through simple instruction. May we fear you above all things, especially in the area of our health. When we do, things like calories or disease have no power to influence or intimidate us. Remind us of this truth when we feel tempted to believe, otherwise. In Jesus name, Amen.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8 [NIV]
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 John 1:2 [NIV]