We seem to be almost bombarded in our society today with ways we can improve ourselves. Whether it be educational courses you can sign up to, products you can use to better your appearance, diets to follow to give you better health, exercise programs to help you lose weight, financial schemes to assist you in maximizing your wealth, etc. We can certainly invest a lot of time, effort and money into things which we trust will benefit us in some way.
In my own Bible reading this week I was challenged by these verses from 1 Timothy 4:6-8, “If you put these things (i.e. teaching the central truths of the Christian faith) before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 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.” The words, ‘train yourself for godliness’ really stood out to me.
I asked myself the question, ‘What things am I employing in my life which are helping to train me for godliness’? Obviously, spending time in the Bible is crucial to this, but there are many other ways – e.g. listening to Christian podcasts; reading good books or blogs, meeting regularly with other Christians to encourage each other in the faith, etc. To help me keep myself accountable and son track’ in my faith I find that self-reflection is really important too. It’s important to ask yourself questions about your own personal spiritual development and how it is going. Here are some questions you might find helpful in this process…
#1 – Am I reading my Bible for information or transformation?
#2 – Is there anything in my life that God is consistently bringing to my attention that I am trying to ignore?
#3 – Is there anyone I need to apologize to?
#4 – Is there anyone I need to forgive?
#5 – Is there a sin I need to confess to others and ask for help?
#6 – What evidences do I see in my life that point to me growing in godliness? Above all we need to be praying, asking God to continue His process of making us more like Jesus and to help us to be willing and obedient participants in this.