Lockdown in the UK – all three of them!
14th May 2021Lockdown in the UK – all three of them! – has, for most of us, brought about some new things to be thankful for. For many people, one of these was getting fit! Sales of bikes, sports clothing and home fitness equipment rocketed as many of us decided to make the most of the extra time created from no longer commuting to work. For others, a bike ride or run was perhaps just a legitimate excuse to get out of the house for a while. We know that exercise is good for us, both physically and mentally. Physically, we keep in shape and help our heart and muscles to stay strong. Mentally, we set ourselves goals which then brings a sense of well-being in the achievement of them. The Bible encourages us to look after our bodies, too. However, the focus of the Bible message is not so much on physical fitness but spiritual. The apostle Paul wrote: “…exercise yourself rather to godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7, NKJV). Exercise as an analogy for spiritual development is particularly apt. If we are serious about getting fit, we know that we will need to set ourselves some targets to do a certain amount of exercise each day or week. We know that it won’t be easy – particularly at the beginning – and will require effort and self-discipline. We will need to monitor what we eat and be willing to cut out food that is bad for us. All this is true of improving our spiritual lives. It requires discipline and dedication to start reading God’s Word – our daily food – and cut out the rubbish that we can fill our minds with instead. It will take time to read and application to understand. But, just like exercise, it gets easier if we stick at it! Why should we do this? Paul goes on to say: “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.” (1 Timothy 4:8). Getting spiritually “fit” gives us strength for this life but also prepares us for a wonderful future beyond the limitations of the here and now. “Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31) pershore.bible pershore-christadelphians.org