Summary: Godliness has value for all things.
"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. THIS IS A TRUSTWORTHY SAYING that deserves full acceptance."
GODLINESS HAS VALUE FOR ALL THINGS. This certiainly is a TRUSTWORTHY TRUTH. It’s absolute truth. It’s truth very much needed in 21st Century America.
We are healthier and wealthier in America than any culture in the history of the planet. Yet we also have more emotional and mental disorders, more addictions and more syndromes than any culture in history.
According to the World Values Survey quoted in the March 2004 issue of Christianity Today, the U.S. ranks 16th among the world’s 65 happiest countries. We probably would have guessed that with all of our good health and affluence we would have been number one. But the distinction of being the world’s happiest country goes to Nigeria! The world’s 140th ranking economy has the number one ranking in happiness. How ironic.
How can we explain this disparity? Perhaps it is because the Nigerians have not been spoiled by materialism. I’m not sure. But in spite of their poverty, plagues and political unrest - they have found value.
It seems in America we must find a way to happiness around our affluence.
Take for instance the comparison Paul makes in our text passage. "Physical training is of some value, BUT GODLINESS HAS VALUE FOR ALL THINGS."
Sure getting in good shape is important - but it is not THE most important thing. Godliness is THE most important. Godliness is the most valuable.
Its time to make some important value judgments.
Bank managers and store owners constantly tell their employees to cooperate with robbers. Give them the money. It can be replaced. Your life cannot.
That’s a value judgment. You decide what is most valuable and you make your decisions accordingly. And that’s what God’s Word is teaching us here. We are told what to place the most priority on what has the most value - godliness.
Not popularity, not possessions, not pleasure, and not power. Godliness. Following God. Being like God. Doing His will. Godliness.
Have you heard about the important business executive who boarded the New Orleans to Washington train?
He was a very heavy sleeper and needed to be awakened in order to get off the train in Atlanta about five o’clock in the morning. He had a very important business meeting in Atlanta so he couldn’t afford to miss his stop. He found a porter and told him, "I want you to wake me in time to get off the train at 5 o’clock in Atlanta. Now I’m a very heavy sleeper, and it doesn’t matter if I fret or fuss over what you do - you must put me off the train in Atlanta."
But the next morning he awakened at about 9 o’clock and the train had long since passed Atlanta. He located the porter and really poured it on with all sorts of abusive language, almost attacking the poor guy bodiliy. After he left, an observer said to the porter, "How could you just stand there and take that kind of talk from that man?"