Most men are familiar with the popular blog, “The Art of Manliness.” A lot of the posts they publish are great. I like the idea of men getting back to being gentlemen. However, it is far more important that we work on the art of godliness than the art of manliness. Consider these brief points about godliness from 1 Timothy:
1. Godliness is Something for which You Must Train Yourself
Paul tells young Timothy, “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:7-8). A godly life doesn’t just happen. A man or woman becomes godly, the same way he or she becomes physically fit, by going into “strict training” (1 Cor. 9:25, NIV).
Training requires (among other things) intentionality, self-control, and a plan. Are you being intentional about training yourself for godliness? Are you being self-controlled, eliminating anything from your life which interferes with your training? Are you following the plan God has laid out for you (Psalm 119:9)?
2. Godliness Must be Pursued
Paul also writes, “As for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). The word “pursue” implies passion and haste. Are you actively pursuing a godly life? Are you passionate about being a godly man or woman? Do you want it so bad you can taste it (Matthew 5:6)?
Many would say, “I want to live a godly life.” Yet, their attitude toward it says differently. I see a lot of twitter and facebook accounts that claim a religious status of “Christian,” but the pictures say, “Worldly.” Are you really pursuing a life of godliness or are you just paying “lip service” to it?
3. Godliness is Shown through Behavior
Godliness is not just “who you are in your heart.” It is not just a personal and private relationship with God. Godliness begins in the heart, but overflows in a fruitful life of faithful service. Paul says, “If a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God” (1 Timothy 5:4).
Godliness is not just about what you believe, but also about what you do. Is your godliness evident by the way you serve God? Is your godliness evident by the way you serve others? James put it this way, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27). Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re godly or religious, if its only “in your heart” and not evident in your life.
Are you training yourself for godliness? Are you pursuing godliness? Are you showing godliness in your service to others? Just some things to consider.
Question: What other passages come to your mind when considering the issue of godliness (comment below)?
I love you and God loves you,