7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.1 Timothy chapter 4, verses 7 thru 10; from the New Living Translation (NLT)
I’m stuck in a rut! Ever heard that expression? Or yet, have you ever said that? Ruts do not just happen by themselves; and rarely do they happen instantaneously. They happen by traveling the same path over and over and over. At first there are no problems at all. But every trip down that trail the rut gets just a litter deeper; well, unless it’s really muddy! But you’re (hopefully) smart enough to get my point. But then one day it rains and the storm lasts longer than a brief moment. And you start out in those clearly defined ruts, until finally–You Can’t Get Out, And You’re Stuck In The Muck And The Mud.
This scene certainly describes a lot of people–and it’s not a modern phenomena. Era, age, nor gender is excluded from being stuck in a rut. In our age and culture, people are stuck in a rut–the rut of values and morals. Feelings, alleged experts, along with pop sociology and psychology have redefined what is acceptable and unacceptable. And their miseries multiply faster than flies in a garbage can on a hot summer day. And then they wonder why they are so unhappy.
Well, maybe it is time to look back rather than forward. Back to the guidance and instructions from Paul to Timothy. Read this again: “Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.“ There’s a single word that you do not need to glance over, or overlook. That word is YOURSELF! You can’t make others become godly, but you can train yourself to become godly! To be trained isn’t a solo activity. You gotta have a trainer! Someone who knows the ropes and knows what works and doesn’t work. Think about a fitness gym. You can stand in front of one all day long, and you will still be out of shape. You can go inside, pay the membership dues, and stand inside all day long–and you will still be out of shape. That is, unless you consider round to be a shape.
Nope! You gotta get busy. Even then, you need guidance of a trainer to help you. You could be doing the wrong exercises the wrong way resulting in injury to yourself. And the best trainers are the ones who will both correct you and encourage you. The source for Godliness, or the “Training Manual” if you would, is The Bible. When taken as a whole, The Bible discloses who God is–and what He wants your life to become. And the trainer is The Holy Spirit. It’s the purpose of being a follower and disciple of Jesus–to become godly! And godliness isn’t define by our interpretations or the interpretations of others of the The Bible. And godliness isn’t found in one or two verses. Nor is it found in taking those verses out of context.
Physical fitness takes more than one or two trips to the gym. It takes a commitment to reach the goals one has set for themselves. It requires consistency, as well. So, instead of pointing out to others where they AREN’T godly, focus on yourself. Maybe if YOU were in training for godliness–you would find the peace and joy that is missing in action in so much of our culture today. “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” Spiritual flabbiness isn’t attractive–to anyone. So get into spiritual training–it helps now and prepares you for eternity. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it.