Exercising Yourself Bodily and
unto Godliness

By Jay Pearson

God’s Word, the Holy Bible, often uses figures of speech and comparisons from the natural world to express his truth. It makes the truth easier to understand for those seeking and therefore easier to believe and do. With this in mind, I want to compare exercising your physical body with exercising yourself unto godliness.

1 Timothy 4:8:
For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

May the Lord open your heart and mine to a better understanding of exercising unto godliness.

It is helpful when exercising to consistently follow a plan. A plan will provide a better opportunity to produce effective results. In this lesson I will offer a Planned Program for your consideration. It compares physical with spiritual exercises. I hope you will find it useful to maybe follow or adapt to your specific need or vision for spiritual growth.

Proverbs 25:28:
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

In order to have any effective exercise program, you need to have a plan. You need instruction to effectively execute that plan. You need to actually do the instruction to reap the benefits. You need a catalyst to get you over the humps and valleys when mindful to quit. You need supplements maintain your healthy energy level.

In my Exercise Program; there are 5 steps I use to follow in this program. I will compare my bodily exercise to exercising unto godliness:

1. The Plan
2. The Instruction
3. Performance
4. A Catalyst
5. Supplements

1.  The Plan

A plan gives you a definite focus and goal to achieve. Without a plan we tend to wander from this to that. “That” is usually not where we want to be. Without a plan you are more likely to be influenced by situations and scenarios and head visions that distract from your goal.

My personal plan for bodily exercise: To be agile, tone my muscles, and increase my strength through weight lifting and training.

1. To become AGILE I give attention to stretching my muscles in a full range of motion in my workout.

2. To TONE my muscles I use weights and weight machines causing my muscles to break down, leaving them sore and ready to rebuild to a firmer appearance.

3. To achieve STRENGTH I push my repetitions beyond intitial exhaustion to allow for a growth process over time.

My personal plan for exercising unto godliness: To learn humility, practice obedience, and push for excellence

1. Learning humility requires being willing to learn from a godly source.

1 Peter 5:5-6:
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

2. To practice obedience we must repeat the process of obeying.

Hebrews 13:16:
But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

3. Pushing for excellence requires effort beyond our own ability.

Philippians 3:13-14:
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.   

2.  The Instruction:

Instruction gives you the efficient road map to your plan. Proper instruction reduces error and maximizes your efforts with time saving value toward your destination or plan.

Bodily exercise: Enlist a knowledgeable instructor or seek creditable instruction through media. An ab exercise, arm and torso exercise, legs exercise, etc.

Exercising unto godliness: Go to God’s instruction manual, the Holy Bible.

2 Peter 1:3:
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

3.  Performance:

Performance is absolutely essential to achieve your plan.

Bodily exercise: All the proper instructions are benign until applied. You must actually do the instructions and do them continually to benefit.

Exercising unto godliness: Like the bodily exercises, godliness requires doing the instruction also.

James 1:22:
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

1 Timothy 4:12:
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Romans 2:7:
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

4.  The Catalyst:

A catalyst will get you over the humps and through the valleys when quitting comes to mind.

Bodily exercise: Take in plenty of water, proper meals, energy drinks, and energy enhancers if necessary to get through your workout.

Exercising unto godliness: Know that you are not alone. The Lord is with you every step to provide your need.

Philippians 2:13:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Proverbs 2:6:
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

5.  Supplements:

Exercising burns energy and you need to replenish the energy you expend.

Bodily exercise: It helps to add protein, multi-vitamins, and balanced dietary foods.

Exercising unto godliness: Exercising unto godliness also burns energy and needs to be replaced.

Jude 1:20:
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

Ephesians 3:16:
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18:
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.


Follow a plan of bodily exercise for your body’s health. Plan to follow the Way, Jesus Christ and his example of exercising unto godliness.

John 15:10:
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Be an example in Word, in behavior, in the love of God toward all men, in spirit, in faith toward God, and in sinless actions. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

1 Timothy 4:7-9:
7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.