Thursday, 4 January 2018
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 1 Timothy 4:9
Paul repeats a portion of the words of verse 1:15 again in this verse. The Greek literally reads, “Faithful is the saying.” Instead of tying the thought to that which follows, as he did in verse 1:15, it is connected to that which he has just said, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things…” In other words, this was probably a proverbial saying of the time, comparing bodily exercise to something else. In Paul’s case, he has compared it to godliness, which is “profitable for all things.”
In saying that this is “a faithful saying,” it is then understood to be “worthy of all acceptance.” We are to remember the lesson, carry it in our minds, and apply it to our lives. If we go to the gym and spend time there exercising our bodies, how much more should we seek godliness! If we head out to the beach or the lake and swim in order to tone our muscles, then how much more should we immerse ourselves in the word of God and then endeavor to apply it to our lives. If we go out for a morning or an evening jog in order to start or close out our day, how much more should we first open the word when we rise, or open the word before we lie down, more honorably starting and finishing the hours that we spend awake in the Lord’s presence.
In other words, whatever we do for our physical bodies, we should seek to do all the more for our spiritual lives. It is hard to imagine that the Christian believer would spend five hours a week doing one or more of these body-caring activities, and then spend almost no time on spiritual-healing activities. Which is more important? Which will perish, and which will endure? Which is more pleasing to the Creator? Though it may be only He who sees our spiritual activities which are intended for seeking godliness, it is His approval that is infinitely more important than the many eyes which look at us in admiration of the results of seeking bodily improvement.
Life application: Try making a note on how much time and effort you spend on the various activities of your daily life – exercise, TV, going to the movies, reading your Bible, attending church and Bible studies, etc. When you have a list of these things, compare them. If your pursuit of godliness is less than the other things you have written down, it is time for you to adjust your life to change that.
Lord God, if we were to honestly evaluate the amount of time we did the various things which fill our days, would seeking godliness be high or low on the list? How much time do we watch TV? How much time do we spend at the gym or pursuing some other type of exercise? How much time do we spend at the movies or shopping? And then… how much time do we spend reading Your word; sitting alone with You in prayer; attending services to praise You; and so on? Help us to get our priorities right Lord. May You be first in the conduct of our daily lives. Amen.