I Timothy 4:7-8 says: “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Just as there are “bodily disciplines”, which :8 refers to, so there are “disciplines” of godliness. Some of these are: prayer, Bible reading, scripture memorization, fasting, training one’s self to be more holy in daily, practical ways; witnessing, etc. We need to “exercise” these disciplines on a daily basis in order to become more godly. We are mistaken if we think that spirituality will just “come naturally”. It will not. It comes from practicing daily, godly disciplines.
And those godly disciplines are the most important disciplines we will partake in. Verse 8 does not say that bodily discipline is of no profit. Sure, there is value in bodily exercise. It can help keep you healthy, sharpen your mind, and hopefully give you a longer and more productive life and ministry. But the truth is that our bodies will one day fail each of us. Hence, in the end, bodily discipline is of limited value. But the disciplines of godliness are far more valuable. The fruit they produce in us will last for eternity.
So as we begin this new year, it is not wrong to determine to start some new bodily discipline. It is of some value. Just make sure that you are even more committed to the most important disciplines: the disciplines of godliness, which will benefit you for eternal years to come!