Stumbling Into Godliness?

What is godliness?  Some have said that cleanliness is next to it.  Perhaps that is true based on your definition of cleanliness.  If your definition is that of clean living, then the saying makes sense.  If it is making your bed everyday, then I don’t buy it.  I like what one commentator said about godliness.  He said that it is “living one’s life with God at the heart” (Moss, College Press NIV Commentary: 1, 2 Timothy & Titus).
How do we do that?  How do we go about living our daily lives with God at the heart of it all?  Notice what Paul tells Timothy about godly living: you have to train yourself to be godly.  It doesn’t just happen.  You have to work at it.  It is a discipline.
How does one prepare for a marathon?  You have to work at it and train yourself.  Rarely does one wake up and say, “I think I’ll run a marathon today.”  26.2 miles is a loooooong way to run without the proper training.  I tried training for a 5K last year, which is about 1/10th of a marathon.  By the second week, my knees were reminding me that I was 41 years old, overweight and out of shape!
When it comes to godly living, we must train ourselves for it.  That requires discipline and commitment.  It means that we need to commit ourselves to daily prayer, study and meditation on God’s Word.  It means that we need to spend time fasting – not for the applause of people, but to learn how to rely on God and His power to overcome our weaknesses.  It means that we need to spend time with other believers in worship and service.  It’s all about moving away from selfishness and sin and moving toward godliness and holiness.  While we will not achieve perfection in this life, we must not allow that to become an excuse for a lack of self-control and unrighteous living.  We have to be intentional about coming up with a disciplined training plan to become more godly.  If we don’t think about it and train for it, it won’t happen.  One does not stumble into godliness, but rather, it comes about through discipline and training.
1 Timothy 4:6-10 (NIV)
If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 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. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

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