The Best Exercise

William C. Brownson

READ : 1 Timothy 4:7-8

Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

I’m glad the apostle told Timothy that bodily exercise is “of some value.” Being a sports and fitness enthusiast myself, I would be disappointed if he had said less. But I’m even more pleased that he said more, that he reserved the highest praise for training “in godliness.” That has value, Paul says, not only in keeping you fit in this world, but also in preparing you for the next.

What is it to “train ourselves in godliness”? It surely involves some of the same desire, commitment, and effort we devote to athletic disciplines. I like to think of godliness as a reverent awareness of the Lord, and a devotion to him and his purposes. We condition ourselves for that by internalizing the Scriptures, by cultivating a life of prayer, by turning away from all that displeases God, and making it our steady aim to please him. Most of all, we train ourselves in godliness by keeping our eyes on Christ, and being led by the Spirit. Paul is saying, “Timothy, keep yourself in shape for the Lord’s service!”


Lord, help us to develop the spiritual disciplines that lead to true godliness in our lives.