“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself 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.”

// 1 Timothy 4:7-8

Our culture loves 10 Step cures, whether it’s “10 Steps to Rock Hard Abs” or “10 Steps to Understanding Women” (I wish it was that simple), we are looking for the quick fix. Go on to Buzzfeed right now, and you will find 15 different lists to solve your daily problems. Is this the right way to look at the world? Can we look at obtaining godliness this way?

The simple answer is no. Godliness is an ongoing process, not a list of tasks to be completed. Looking at the passage above, we see that Paul is writing to Timothy urging him to train in godliness. Paul understands that godliness does not happen overnight, but instead must be developed daily. As humans, we can get caught in the myths of the world. We think that a new job will give us the identity we have craved, or a new girlfriend or boyfriend will finally fulfill our need for perfect community. But as we have all seen and felt, the world lets us down. So the question arises, how do we find godliness in the midst of the chaos of the world?

The answer is Christ. He is the perfect representation of godliness here on earth. We cannot obtain godliness any other way. It is only in Christ that true connection with God the Father can happen. Christ rebuilt the relationship between the Father and the world by bridging the humanly insurmountable gap created by sin.

If you wanted to run a marathon, would you wake up one morning, having not run in three months, and just run 26.2 miles? That would be outrageous. You would probably die after the second mile. In the same way, we will not gain godliness in a night. God understands this and so, in turn, gives us the tools we need to grow in godliness. The first tool is scripture – if we want to be filled with God so that sin flees then we must first understand His identity, which is found in scripture. Next, we must surround ourselves with a community that pushes us to live godly lives. Finally, we must work daily to train ourselves toward godliness. This is the key to life.

// Tim Stratton