“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.”
One of my favorite Pastors frequently brings up a concept that strikes a chord within me every single time. As if I had never heard it before! Do you have any phrases or concepts that do that for you? Maybe it’s realizing how incredible it is that God created the stars in the sky, the planets in the universe, and YOU! Or it could be more simple… such as the life-changing invention of chocolate with gooey caramel on the inside. Delicious!
For me… one of those moments happens when my pastor asks if my heart is aligned with the church and Kingdom of God, if my mind is set on God’s will and His way for my life. And oftentimes, the answer I’m inclined to share is YES (especially when I’m standing in church on a Sunday morning and my heart, mind, body, and spirit are really feeling the Holy Spirit). But then my pastor takes it just a little bit further and encourages the church to look introspectively at things such as our weekly calendar, the posts we’re sharing on social media, and even our… bank accounts!
Now you might be thinking, “Wow! Sounds a bit invasive.” But really… it’s the rawest, realest way to check ourselves. Let’s call it a spiritual reality check. If my calendar for the week has work, yoga, binge watch my favorite TV show, dinner with friends, pilates, more work, more friends, more working out, more TV… then something is MAJORLY off. Where’s my Bible time? What about prayer? Any church penciled in for the week? If the answer is no… I need to check myself and take a long, hard look at my priorities and my intention for the week. If I have time to pencil in the latest episode of This Is Us, then I think I can squeeze in some Jesus time too!
And what about my social media? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying your ENTIRE feed needs to be Jesus, scripture, and church. Social media is meant for sharing fun life moments, family memories, and a good laugh. But when you’re given the opportunity to share something amazing that happened to you, are you giving any glory to God? And more importantly… what’s the tone of your social media? Which persona are you presenting to the world? Is it positive and uplifting, are you being a light to others? Or is it negative and critical of those around you? Jesus wants us to SHINE His love through our words and actions. And friends, this doesn’t always have to be an in-your-face action. You don’t need to share John 3:16 every week to be that light for others. You can do it through kindness, encouragement, positivity, and love. More simply said… we can all strive a little bit harder to lead by example. Let’s be real, there’s a lot of eyes on our Facebook feeds and Instagram pages… hundreds and sometimes even thousands of friends and followers. So let’s show the world what it’s like to live as a child of God, serving His Kingdom, and being set free from sin because of Jesus!
Now the cringey, uncomfortable, possibly triggering topic. Our bank accounts. If we were to go back and look at where last month’s budget was allocated to, would it be something that shows our heart is aligned with God’s calling for us? Maybe your bank account is filled with donations, tithes, and charities. Or maybe it’s a lot of Starbucks with some online shopping and food delivery sprinkled throughout. And if you’re somewhere in the middle, that’s okay too! This is the tricky part. It isn’t about how much you’re spending or where you’re spending your money. It’s that where you spend your money, says a lot about where you spend your time. And if your time is spent at Chick-Fil-A, TJ Maxx, and Starbucks (please forgive me, I love all three too!), then maybe you can allocate a little bit of that time to serving God’s Kingdom in one way or another, too. If we can spend six hours a week online shopping, we can likely spend six hours a week in our Bible, serving others, or growing our relationships with Christians.
Now for the fun part, let’s loop it back to 1 Timothy 4:8! It starts off with the words…
“For bodily exercise profits a little…”
And this is where a lot of people get it wrong. They write off the words “a little” as being insignificant and unimportant. But really, a little is still something! Especially when you’re comparing it to the Kingdom of God! Paul is telling us that bodily exercise, AKA the things we physically do here on Earth, they may not mean e v e r y t h i n g , but they still bring a little bit of profit and benefit to our lives. So that yoga class you love? Keep going! Girls night out with your friends on Fridays? I love it! A Saturday spent binge watching your favorite series? Probably not the healthiest habit, but every once in a while, why not!? We all deserve to enjoy our lives on Earth and to be human while we’re here. But the second half of the verse, this is the bread and butter, the good stuff!
“… but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and that which is to come.”
First, let’s talk about godliness. What is godliness? Godliness is aligning our hearts with God’s will to help us be more Christlike. And I don’t know about you, but I want my heart to be right on track with what God has in store for me. And Paul is telling us that godliness, aligning our hearts with God’s will and way for our lives, is profitable for ALL things. So what if we revamped some areas of our life and threaded Jesus into our everyday? What if we still hung out with our friends on the weekends, but let Jesus be present too? Or if we continued to get our daily coffee, but were extra kind to the barista to show them the kindness of our Father. Maybe when we go to our favorite yoga class and set a mantra, we make it about our relationship with God and spend our practice meditating on Him. Friends, there are SO many ways to thread Jesus through the ins and outs of our lives. The bodily things we do here on Earth, they matter. But just a little! What really matters and makes a difference, the thing that is profitable for all things, is aligning our hearts with His divine plan for our lives. And to align ourselves with Him, we have to let Him in and spend more time with Him. So what do you think? Are you in? Let’s continue to Walk in His Promises together!