Train yourself to be godly. 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. 1 Timothy 4:7b-8
Godly training is profitable now and for eternity. It does not mean you are some super spiritual person who cannot relate to others. On the contrary, godly means you have the character and sensitivity of Jesus. Thus, you understand and relate to people very effectively. It is not all about you, but about others and their needs. You encourage when there needs to be encouragement. You rebuke when you need to rebuke. You teach when there needs to be teaching. The godly know how to laugh, cry, pray, hope, work hard, and trust in God. Godliness comes in all forms.
Every temperament can express godliness. If you are an extrovert, your godly expression may come in the form of humor or encouragement. Your ability to make people laugh (not at the expense of someone else) is godly. Your passion to encourage and build up others is godly. Godliness is certainly expressed through your character. Your honesty is godly; your diligence is godly; your pure motive is godly; your generosity is godly; your compassion, boldness, and leadership are godly. All of these behaviors that reflect the way Christ would behave are godly. Godliness is behaving as Jesus would behave. It is not a certain voice inflection or body language because those can be pretentious and ungodly. It is having a heart and mind that express as Christ would.
True godliness points others to God. It provides value for all things: body, mind, soul, and spirit. Godliness, however, does not happen accidentally. There is intentionality to godliness. Just as the body benefits from physical training, so the mind, soul, and spirit benefit from training in godliness. The most effective training comes with consistency and repetition. It is not a complicated process, but it is exercising faith. The muscles of faith expand and contract when engaged in everyday life. Training involves prayer instead of worry. Praying works on your heart. It is your spiritual cardio workout. Worry works like plaque and cholesterol clogging the flow of God’s faithfulness to you. He is always faithful, but you must receive his faithfulness by faith. Prayer facilities this and provides a free flow of faith. In addition, fasting keeps your focus on the Lord.
Training in godliness means the word of God becomes your spiritual diet. If you replace the word with the world you will settle for spiritual junk food rather than Jesus. Snubbing God’s word is like substituting chips for chicken. This cheap imitation of spiritual nutrition eventually disables your godly maturity. Lastly, training in godliness requires service to others. You work out your faith in good deeds. You serve others for the glory of God. This is training in godliness. This has tremendous value now and forevermore. Therefore, train well and you will be transformed. Over time, when you look into the mirror of your soul you will see Jesus. There are benefits to training in godliness.
The Bible says, “Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him” (Psalm 4:3).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to grow in godliness so my life points people to Jesus.
Application: What area of my life does the Spirit need to grow in godliness?
Related Readings: 1 Corinthians 9:24; 1 Timothy 6:6; 2 Timothy 3:5, 12; 2 Peter 1:7