Godliness requires self-discipline but brings great benefit. Exercise is not a fun word in my book, but it is necessary for life. With all kinds of joint problems and a tendency to gain weight, I have to exercise. If you travel through north Pflugerville early on a given morning and see a preacher plodding along on the sidewalk, it might be me!
Paul gave his understudy Timothy personal advice as well as instruction for all the church. He addressed godliness. “Have nothing to do with godless myths or 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 Tim. 4:7-8). Physical health is important, but spiritual health infinitely more so. All the physical training in the world will not save your eternal soul. Paul urges Timothy to revere God, not himself. Some people work so hard at physical fitness they have no time to tend to the soul. Physical fitness will fade; godliness helps us now and leads to eternal salvation.
Godliness requires training. Giving God first place in everything. Being awed by his majesty every day. Seeking God’s will in his word. Talking to him constantly in prayer. Thinking about God. Loving him with our mind. “We hold you in the highest place!” The world seeks to crowd God out of our lives, but we cannot allow this to happen. Paul urges, “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness” (1 Tim. 6:11).
To be a child of God is the greatest privilege we have, but we also have responsibility. May God bless us all as we work with his Spirit to develop the character the Father expects of his children. TC