“Train yourself to be Godly . . Godliness has value.” 1 Timothy 4:7 NIV

“Godliness that is born of faith produces a lifestyle that honors God in ordinary ways.”

My thoughts today are about “Godliness.”

How would you describe Godliness? Many descriptions often are somewhat negative, such as: other-worldly, heavenly-minded, impractical, prudish, joyless and boring, disapproving, judgmental, and other similar but inaccurate notions about Godliness. Or people assign idealistic expectations like perfection or never failing, traits that are unreachable for most and far from realistic for any.  Usually such negative ideas come from observing the less than flattering characteristics of a few who profess themselves to be Godly, but really are just religious.

Not surprisingly, the Bible offers a vastly different view. Paul affirmed, Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Tim. 6:6. Peter urged, “Make every effort to add to your . . perseverance, Godliness, and to Godliness brotherly kindness.” 2 Peter 1:5-6 NIV. Such a positive view is normally held by those who have personally known someone whose spiritual life reflected an admirable measure of humility, devotion, integrity, kindness, care for others, and love for God . . not perfect people at all, just redeemed. Redeemed; that’s what distinguishes a Godly person from merely a good person. Godliness that is born of faith produces a lifestyle that honors God in ordinary ways.

Clearly, God values this quality more than man seems to understand it. Who comes to your mind when you think of a Godly person? What about them makes you think of Godliness? Such a quality of spiritual life does not just happen; The Apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy, “Train yourself to be Godly . . Godliness has value for all things, holding promise of the present life and the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7 NIV. Training to become Godly – living in Truth, following the Lord, and listening to the Spirit – is nothing like trying to seem Godly by being religious.

Training seriously is not easy, requiring dedication, determination, and discipline. The Bible says, “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening; it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in that way.” Hebrews 12:11 NLT. You do not try to seem Godly in order to be accepted by God; you train to become Godly exactly because you are accepted by God! Godliness is a right response to grace, in which you have been “accepted in the Beloved,” and therefore live in a Godly manner. Read Ephesians 1:3-8 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you will not struggle to be good, but strive to be Godly.