In your life, what things have you trained for? A new job? A sporting event? Skills needed for a new hobby? Classes on parenting, fianances or marriage? Things worth knowing; stuff worth having requires training. Sometimes, though, when it comes to our walk with Jesus, this concept doesn’t carry over. We become weary; tired of going against the grain in the world we live in. We don’t consider that it is all part of “the training”.
Paul encourages us through his words to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7 “…Instead train yourself to be godly.” Training and godliness; at first they just don’t seem to go together. When we think of godliness, we may picture someone who we think of as perfect; who just seems (as if by accident) to have it all together. But what we see in that person and in their life is not by accident at all! They have trained. Dictionary.com defines trained as: to develop or form the habits, thoughts, or behavior of (a child or other person) by discipline and instruction. Training. That is what I need more of. Developing and forming habits in regards to my thoughts and behavior and doing so by not letting every thought or whim have it’s way in my life, but through discipline and instruction; training myself in godliness.
Now, I noticed this week, Saturday in particular, that this is all grand and wonderful while I am spending time with the Lord and while I am typing away posts like these. Then, life hits i.e it is time to take down the Christmas decorations or maybe schedules don’t go as planned. Attitudes are less than ideal. Things break or refused to be fixed. Life happens…and the habits, thoughts and behaviors that are second nature come through. Where is the godliness then? Waiting to shine when I am back in my big chair with my Bible and laptop?
Paul lets me know that I am not alone. 1 Timothy 4: 8 & 9 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.” NLT
So I’m not a loser after all! If Paul of all people says that being godly is a struggle and he had to work hard, then I am in good company!
As the New Year is around the corner and you consider the goals you will set, ask the Lord, “How…Where do you want me to work hard and continue to struggle in my training for godliness? Where do you want me to grow and become more like you in my thoughts, behaviors and habits?” Don’t forget to get all of the strength to do so from the power we are offered through His Holy Spirit!