Training for godliness, seems to be a recurring topic. Again this morning, those same words we must train…ourselves…in godliness.
1 Timothy 4:7-8
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourselves 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.”
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.” Hmmm. Here my mind associates myths with superstitions. How many thoughts are tied up with superstitions that you half believe. One I see often are “knocking on wood.” To do what? It can’t protect you from anything. If you don’t believe it will, why do it at all. What about crossing you fingers, walking under a ladder, opening an umbrella indoors, breaking a mirror or unlucky numbers? “Have nothing to do with” these things…we must train them out.
So, what do we do instead? We train for godliness. We’re given the comparison of training our bodies. All of us know it takes effort, dedication and determination to train our bodies. We need to place more effort, dedication and determination into training for godliness. Or, you could also say training to be Christ-like.
according to the New Webster’s Dictionary is
to cause a person to respond to discipline and instruction – to make a person efficient in some activity by instruction and repeated practice – to make one’s own body more efficient by exercise and diet, or one’s intelligence and memory by application”
It will take work and practice. Training. What do we do to train?
- Start with reading the Bible. We can’t know what we are to do, how we are to act, or how we are to think; if we don’t read the God’s word…EVERY DAY.
- Pray. We need to talk to God. I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing, or pray continually. Remember, prayer is a two way street. Don’t forget to be silent and listen for God’s answers.
These are our starting places. Just like training our bodies, this will take effort. We must find a way to do it. Our minds have to be determined that this is more important than whatever else the world (or our kids) is throwing at us. I often end up with at least one kid in my lap while reading my Bible and almost daily I have to ask one to quit telling me stories. My other option being – to just completing ignore the background story.
It’s not about quantity but quality. Read with the idea or looking for something to remember. Look for a lesson of either what to do, or what not to do, or how should you think. What can you take away from your reading time? Some days you my only read a few sentences because they are enough to think about and digest. Another way to put it, is to ruminate on it. Think of cows or goats. They ruminate on their food, or chew their cud. They are literally bringing their food back up and chewing it again. The other definition for ruminate is “ponder over”. We need ponder over what we read and some days a sentence or two is all it takes to give us plenty to think about over and over and digest.