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Spiritual Atrophy

But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. 1 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV)

I remember having my knee operated on years ago when I tore my ACL. The pain and rehabilitation of the surgery was tremendous, but what really caught my attention was my quadricep muscle atrophying. It was almost like it disappeared overnight. 

Muscle atrophy is defined as a decrease in the mass of the muscle; it can be partial or complete wasting away of the muscle.  When our muscles atrophy it will cause them to be weaker. Two of the greatest causes of muscle atrophy are, (1) not using the muscle, and, (2) starvation of the muscle.  When our muscles begin to atrophy our quality of life diminishes, because we will be unable to perform certain things we once took for granted.  Needless to say, we need to use/exercise our muscles if we are to keep them healthy and working properly and effectively. 

Well, we can take the same principle of muscle atrophy and apply it to our spiritual walk as well. When we read and study God’s Word daily, it is like doing a spiritual workout.  As we read the Scriptures and meditate upon them we become stronger in our Christian walk.  But if we choose not to do our spiritual exercises by reading God’s Word, then we will find we will begin to feel the effects of spiritual atrophy. 

As this behavior continues we will soon begin to see our attitudes and actions change, as we begin to become more apathetic and indifferent to those dark things in our life.  We can find ourselves losing the very things we once took for granted in our walk with God, and our Christian walk just sort of wastes away (atrophies). 

Hey, there’s no doubt physical exercise is a good thing, and it is something each of us should be doing regularly.  Even so, we should be doing our spiritual exercises first and foremost.  

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 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today. Choose to exercise yourself in your Christian walk.  Choose to read God’s Word and make it your goal to apply it to your life. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to 1 Timothy 4:7 what are we to be exercising ourselves to?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you exercising yourself to godliness daily?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:  Guard yourself against spiritual atrophy.  Exercise yourself towards godliness. 

PRAYER: Father, thank You for Your Word and for keeping me on Your path. Lord, when I go through trials, help me to remember how I am being given a chance to exercise myself towards godliness. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Be Blessed, Pastor Scott




Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000