August 22 Training in Godliness

Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 6:1–12

Key verse: 1 Timothy 4:7

Reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.

The athletes who run twenty–six-mile marathons usually have trained for years. So have those who run sixty-meter sprints. In more important confrontations—like those against temptations—are we to be any less prepared to run, to flee?

In The Practice of Godliness, Jerry Bridges writes,

In urging Timothy to train himself in godliness in 1 Timothy 4:7, Paul borrowed a term from the realm of athletics. The verb which is variously translated in different versions of the Bible as “exercise,” “discipline,” or “train” originally referred to the training of young athletes …

Paul said, “Train yourself to be godly.” You and I are responsible to train ourselves. We are dependent upon God for his divine enablement, but we are responsible; we are not passive in this process. Our objective in this process is godliness—not proficiency in ministry—but God-centered devotion and Godlike character.

Training in godliness requires commitment, the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit through His Word, and practice on our part. Are we prepared to accept our responsibility and make that commitment? As we ponder that question, let us remember, “godliness has value for all things, holding promise—for both the present life and the life to come,” and “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 4:8; 6:6).

Father, empower me with Your strength to train myself in godliness. I commit myself to walk in Your ways.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 245). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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