The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons…Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives tales; rather, 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 4:1, 7-8

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 1 Timothy 6:3-8

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called wen you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:11-12

I’ve got it in my head to do a Bible study on godliness. Which, must be, being like God in his characteristics and qualities.

Perhaps its the translation I use, or maybe not, but the first passage, which urges us to “train” ourselves to become godly is interesting to me. It’s interesting because of the juxtoposition of training ourselves to be godly with physical training. Obviously, godliness is something that must be worked at much as a person who wants to run in a race just runs, so a person who wants to be godly must practice being godly. BUT even though there is this whole example with action, the verses occur in the context of corrupt teachings. Perhaps this is all because, unlike running, which can just be done — one doesn’t know what godliness is unless one studies God, and real teachings about God. Before one can put godliness into practice, one must know what it is ….

And, I just put the other two passages in here because they occur in the same book. And, because, I’m working on the whole “contentment” issue. Perhaps saying “working” is a little too strong a word. I should say, God recently highlighted for me that my “godliness with contentment” is not where it should be.

I “need” a new iPod because mine is broken. I have been sleeping with my iPod now for … three years? Maybe more. I listen to books on the iPod to get to sleep. Without my iPod I toss and turn and worry. I live a pretty modest lifestyle, for an American, so I generally think of myself as content without a lot of things. But, here I am faced with the fact that I think I need an iPod. Even if it is only a Nano.

Oh, brother.

So, what about you? Are you pursuing godliness with contentment? Are you training yourself to be godly? If so, how does that look? I think I may need pointers …

One thought on “Godliness

  1. To be honest I've never thought of godliness with contentment. I think it's safe to say that living in America, we all seem to have a problem with contentment even though we have all we could possibly need. It took me a while to kind of wrap my head around the idea of pursing godliness with contentment and I'm not certain that I quite understand it.

    However, I totally get the training aspect of being godly and I like to say that I've been working out my spiritual muscles. I like these verses because it parallels my marathon training. Sometimes I just have maintenance runs – I like to think my daily Bible readings and regular prayers are like this. Other days I have tempo/pace runs – devoting a nice period of time to really reflect on the word and put my thoughts down on paper. Then I have my long runs – this requires much more effort akin to real time pondering God, truly listening, and praying on my knees. Yet the real marathon is the daily in and out and lifting my spiritual muscles. To do this I must train my mind and guard my tongue. I have to memorize verses (and I'm a total slacker), listen to the spirit and obey his promptings. I have to let go of my selfish desires and desire what God wants…and I think the only way to do that is really latch on to Him. I have to choose better Godly friends (I know this is stuff you guys have been praying for for a long time) and (gasp) stop listening to secular music (I guess that's not a HAVE TO, but I have for the most part). "I am the vine and you are the branches" "Abide in the Lord" etc.

    I realize that this isn't probably anything new that you've heard, but I have been pondering on how to become more Christlike myself. That's why I've written a babbled on and on here. At any rate, I sometimes have to realize that I am still a human and simply cannot do any of this without the grace of God. So when I fail miserably I pick myself back up say a prayer, or a few hundred, and keep on training.

    P.S. On my runs I sometimes imagine Jesus as my running partner…with sweat bands, an awesome matching jogging suit, and his beard blowing in the wind….seriously.

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