The New Year is often the time when we resolve to take better care of ourselves—to exercise, eat right, and perhaps shed some of the pounds we gained over the holidays. Paul says, “Exercise profits a little” (1 Tim. 4:8), so I struggle to be as fit as I can be. I try to eat right, more or less, though I do love fried chicken. I lift weights and walk, but I know that my body is not long for this world. Its strength is fading.
It’s better to concentrate on godliness, because it holds promise for this life and the life to come (v.8). Contrary to the old adage, we can take something with us after all.
Godliness may sound dull, scary, and unattainable, but the essence of godliness is simply self-giving love—caring more for others than we care for ourselves. This kind of love is hard to come by, but it’s one that grows in the presence of love. We grow loving and more lovely by sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to Him, talking things over—gaining in likeness to the One who is love (1 John 4:8).
Life is a journey into love, it seems to me, and there’s nothing so beautiful as a godly soul. Physical exercise is good, no doubt, but there is something far, far better: It is to love.