Read 1 Timothy 4:7-8
7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead,train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good,but training for godliness is much better,promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (NLT)
We sometimes have to admit we don’t feel like praying,or feel like going to church,or feel like reading The Bible (or even a reflection on The Bible!). The standard response is that whether we feel like it or not,we are to do it. Fair enough too,as these are good things to do and things God wants us to do.
Waiting around to feel like doing good might mean we don’t do much good. C. S. Lewis once said that we ought not to wait until we feel loving to love someone else. We act in love and perhaps the feelings might follow. Even if they don’t,we have still done good.
Our text speaks of training in godliness. The image is that of an athlete training to compete. The athlete might not feel like an early-morning run or spending hours in a gym,but he or she does it because it is good for them. In the Christian life we may argue that it is hypocritical to pray or do good or go to church when we don’t feel like it. But as long as we are honest with our own feelings it is not hypocritical. When athletes do push ups without enthusiasm it does not make them hypocrites: it is a mark of discipline,part of their training.
Of course it is better to feel like doing what we need to do. But Jesus commands us to do good anyway. He doesn’t tell us to wait till we feel like it. The good feelings may or may not come,but irrespective of that the good is done.