Words from the Heart for Sunday October 16th, 2016
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)
The Value of Godliness
Staying in shape helps give you energy, a better attitude, and a life of discipline. If this is true of physical exercise, how much more important is it to exercise through spiritual disciplines reading God’s Word, praying, gathering with other Christians, serving others, and cultivating a hunger for God? Consider how you might add each one of these disciplines into your schedule this week.
A 2015 survey of 2,005 Canadian adults, sponsored by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, gives a unique insight into what Canadians value when it comes to multiculturalism and religious accommodation. When asked to identify their most important value from a list of 10, respect for human rights and freedoms scored highest at 21 per cent. When asked specifically about multiculturalism, 60 per cent agreed that it requires reasonable accommodation of cultural practices, including practices about which the respondents might feel uncomfortable. While this is what they believe in theory, when asked about certain practices, most Canadians had reservations. According to 64% of respondents, there is a downside to multiculturalism. These Canadians said multiculturalism appears to allow for the pursuit of cultural practices that are incompatible with Canadian laws and norms and this concerned them.
Every culture and nation, in fact every group, has values. These are the norms, the principles and practices that are the foundation upon which life is lived and decisions are made. The kingdom of God has foundational values, and we see one of them in 1 Timothy 4:8: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The Bible never ignores the need to take care of our bodies. After all, our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit and God speaks often about physical health and His power to heal. But one of the foundational values of the Kingdom of God is that while the physical is important, the spiritual is even more so. Physical training is of some value. Every follower of Jesus needs to agree with that – it is a Biblical principle. But if all we focus on is the physical we limit ourselves to the temporal and temporary. This life, which is lived in the physical, is only a blip compared to eternity. And eternal values are spiritual. So we are called to godliness – allowing the Holy Spirit to shape us spiritually into the man or woman who lives to honour Jesus Christ and who allows His holiness to shine through us. Godliness is God’s work in us. How have you been allowing Him to control your life today?
These have been words from the heart.