“Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” 1 Timothy 4:7-8.
Saint Paul mainly teaches us about two types of training – physical training and spiritual training. Physical training is where one concentrates on one’s body and physique. There are many ways to become more alert, healthy and have a long life. Some of the physical activities are walking, running or engaging in some games. They are done to keep our bodies fit and healthy.
By doing these activities we throw out the extra fat accumulated in our body due to bad food habits and thus keep ourselves healthy and sound. Spiritual training is meant to keep our souls healthy and fit. This helps us to flush out the “extra fat” accumulated in our soul due to carefree lifestyles and thus sanctify us. Due to careless sights, reading, talking, friendships and thoughts, our soul gets tarnished and harmful things get accumulated in the soul. Spiritual training helps us to find out the detrimental things in the soul and reject them, thereby sanctifying and strengthen the soul.
Saint Paul talks about both types of training – the physical and spiritual, but spiritual training is of much greater value. If we rate these trainings in terms of benefits, spiritual training yields more benefits. It is useful for this life and the coming life. Physical training is definitely good, but it will be a great blunder if we neglect spirituality and engage only in physical activities.
Jesus who waits at our door
“Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me”. Revelation 3:20. We understand that Jesus is standing and knocking at the door of our hearts.
We have to search the depth of this word. First of all it is not about Jesus who is standing out and knocking at the door, but it is about Jesus who was inside but due to certain reasons was pushed out. Thus Jesus who was rejected is knocking at the door. The Word of God in the Book of Revelation is mainly talking to churches rather than to any individual. It speaks about certain communities who knew Jesus and choose to go their own ways.
Once a person shared his experience of how his family life got destroyed. From childhood he had a very close friend with whom he used to share everything and they helped each other. He got a job abroad and felt very bad since he had to leave his friend and go. Yet he thought about the future of his family and went abroad. He left all the responsibilities of his family with his friend. Whatever his wife and children wanted he got it done through his friend.
He purchased a new house and as per his friend’s advice he got all the legal papers in his wife’s name. After a few years he experienced that his wife was going away from him and her intimacy with him had reduced. Later, after enquiry he came to know that his wife was having an immoral relationship with his friend and things at home had gone out of control. With a broken heart he came back home and beat up his wife and friend. Since the house was purchased in the wife’s name he had to get out of the house.
The actual owner of the house was thrown out and he was now knocking at the door to come in. If he has to get in, his wife had to repent and open the door for her husband. We can assume the pain of the owner of the house.
Jesus is living as a Saviour in the hearts and lives of people who have accepted him. Due to various reasons and circumstances the Saviour who was inside, gets pushed out. The Saviour is standing outside and knocking at the door to open it for Him. “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father”. John 15:22,24
I want to see again
“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me see again.” (Luke 18:41)
The specialty of this blind man whom Jesus met is that he had vision earlier but lost it later. The greatest blessing which he had in his life got lost somewhere during his span of life. He was praying that his vision would be restored. He begged Jesus to restore his vision . The Lord Jesus healed him.
The blind man is symbolic of people who lose their blessings which they had in their lives as they journey through life. There are some who had great faith earlier, but now the faith is lost, there are some who used to lead a good prayer life, but now are unable to pray. There are those who used to walk in holiness and filled with love and peace, but now everything is lost. Jesus is inviting us to restore whatever we have lost during this life, to get sanctified in the spiritual life and come back to the old vision and old love.
“I also know that you are enduring patiently and bearing up for the sake of my name, and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:3-4)
By Fr. Biju Koonan
Fr Biju Koonan is one of Christ & Co.’s Spiritual Advisers. He is the current Director of Potta Retreat Centre, Kerala. He has held a host of roles such as Assistant Director, Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, Assistant Director, Tabor Divine Retreat Centre, Kalyan, Mumbai and Director, Ave Maria Divine Retreat Centre, Kohima, Nagaland. Listen to his anointed preaching here: https://bit.ly/3fMUm03