“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 NLT
I haven ever given much thought to the word “Godliness” before. I assumed it meant the quality of being God like, as –ness is usually “the quality of” and then the first part of the word. It actually means “the quality of being devoutly religious (Manifesting faithful devotion).”
…Training for devoutly manifesting faithful devotion to God is better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. I realize in reading it this way that God does not expect salvation and then perfection in our devotion to Him. He knew that we would need training to be faithful to Him.
I hear so many people beat themselves up because they don’t pray as much as they think they should or read their Bible as much as they should. They feel bad that they don’t attend services consistently or share the gospel like they should. These are lies from the enemy to keep us from training ourselves to do the right thing. Train, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary online is:
Definition of train
1 a :to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient
b :to form by instruction, discipline, or drill
2 :to make prepared (as by exercise) for a test of skill
3 :to direct the growth of (a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying
As followers of Christ, we need to be taught, instructed, disciplined, drilled, prepared, and have our growth directed to become devout to Him. It is a process. I grow into godliness with training. Some of that training comes from church, most people rely on this for their training and so they truly fall short of what they could have.
Some people will add to their training with special speakers, conferences and books. This can be a great way to get a perspective outside of the core circle. Gaining wisdom and knowledge from other’s experiences, especially those who have lived in different communities, cultures and generations, is just good training.
Other’s take the time to train themselves in God’s Word. They take the time daily to get alone with His word and to talk with Him in prayer. Become a self-trainer is what godliness is really about. It may start slowly, reading an 2,000+ year old manuscript can be daunting. There are so many tools available now that make the exploration of God’s Word exciting once you really get in to it – like the Strong’s Concordance, the Blue Letter Bible, and various versions of the Scriptures.
I enjoy being part of a local fellowship, sitting under pastors and teachers that challenge and encourage me. I have a lot of evangelists and teachers that I listen too regularly that really help me add perspective that I hadn’t thought about before. I enjoy reading and listening to books by authors and pastors that have studied years on topics that I am just delving deeper into.
Yet my favorite, the most powerful times I have is when God speaks to me through His work or that still small voice whispers what I need to hear, even if it is something I don’t want to hear. Getting lost in His Word, delving into the depths of His Word to find answers to what I am searching for. It is in that self-training that my faithfulness in devotion to God is found and my godliness is grown.
This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on growth. 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.