1 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV
7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV
7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 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 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Some may believe that exercise is not a topic for a spiritual lesson. However, there really is a purpose, so let’s see if we can find it.
Believe it or not, some people use the Apostle Paul as their excuse for not exercising.
Paul did say that “physical exercise profits a person little.” Was he saying that we should not exercise? Or that it is not good for us?
We think not to either.
Now, should our exercise be only for vanity or take up so much time that our spiritual life suffers, then it is not good.
The truth in what Paul is saying is that when physical exercise is done for the right reasons and in the right time, it profits us little compared to godliness and obedience to God. Nothing comes close to comparing with being a child of God and eternal life with Him. He wasn’t saying that it profits us little in being beneficial for our bodies or that we shouldn’t do it.
We know that physical exercise is beneficial and has a proper place in our life. It helps us keep our muscles toned and weight at a proper level. It also helps our mind and blood pressure.
Read 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 and ponder what Paul is saying.
No longer is a physical temple required as was required under the old covenant. Under the new covenant, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God immediately indwells us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
Simply put, God lives within us. We are the temple where God dwells. Therefore, we are instructed to glorify or honor God with our bodies. This means doing all the things that are recommended to keep us mentally and physically fit.
Just as the Jews were to keep the temple building in a good state of repair, we are to keep our bodies in shape and not do things to harm them.
Therefore, don’t hide behind the apostle Paul’s words claiming them as the reason for not exercising.
That is not what he was saying.
We should do everything we can that benefits our body, which is the temple of God. We should eat well. We should get plenty of sleep and rest. We should limit or eliminate stress in our life. We should get adequate exercise for both the mind and body.
Let us never forget that God dwells within us. We are His temple. Let us keep it in great shape.