1 Timothy 4:8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness (spiritual training) is of value in everything and in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.
Physical exercise is of value to keep our bodies fit and healthy. It is beneficial for improving circulation, strengthening muscles & bones, increasing energy levels, reducing risk of chronic disease, increasing sleep quality, and for maintaining a healthy heart and lungs—not to mention being beneficial for our mental health. If we don’t move our bodies regularly, we can end up with loads of health issues that could have been prevented or at least minimized. God didn’t design our bodies to just sit all day! We need to get our bodies moving. Regular moderate exercise is necessary for a healthier body—and to maintain a healthy weight. Physical exercise is also good for our mental health. It makes us feel invigorated and alive. Just going for a walk in the fresh air can bring clarity to our minds and is an opportunity to commune with God or, if you walk with a friend, a time of connecting.
But Godliness, spiritual training, is of far more value. While physical exercise is of some value for our health and well-being here and now, pursuing Godliness is of far more value, not only now in our everyday lives, but for all eternity. The benefits of spiritual training results in a deeper intimacy with God, deeper understanding of Biblical truth, a continual growth in our walk with God—and this is what endures to and throughout eternity.
“It holds promise for the present life and for the life to come”—so pursuing God fulfills us and satisfies us while we live in the present and also has “eternal value”. It has far more value in everything and in every way.
Bringing God into ‘everything’—even physical exercise—and walking in close fellowship with the Father is so much more precious and of incredible value than just pursuing a lean body, which is perishable. We should not neglect physical exercise, but even more so, we should not neglect spiritual exercise. Both are good and beneficial, but spiritual exercise (spiritual training) is of more value and is vital for spiritual health for now and for eternity.