“Your whole life ought to be disciplined (i.e., structured, set up, organized,and running day by day) toward the goal of godliness. Everything that happens and everything that you do should contribute something toward reaching that goal. Monday through Saturday, not only Sunday, you must move toward the goal, one step, or two steps or ten steps further down the road. You will become that much more like God only because of what you have done and thought and said each day.” – Jay Adams, Godliness Through Discipline.
I ran across this quote in this little book called Godliness Through Discipline by Jay Adams. It’s a tiny book, 25 pages, but it packs a big punch. As Christians, we talk a lot about godliness, we know our Lord calls us to holiness, and is conforming us into the image of Christ, but do we truly make it a point to literally practice godliness as 1 Tim. 4:7-8 says, “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.”
Simply said, we become what we practice. Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” For those of us who practice lying, we will become better liars. Those who practice deceit, will become expert deceivers. Those who practice gymnastics will become great gymnasts and athletes. Those who practice body building will become great body builders. Those who spend hours practicing law, will become great lawyers. When you practice something, you become better and better at it each time you repeat it. Today we are devoted to practicing many things with our time and resources to become adept and proficient, but how many of us are devoted practicing godliness and set our goals toward it? Why not?
How many of us are becoming better and more hardened sinners because of our refusal to practice righteousness? If we are not focused on practicing righteousness, then the fact is, we are practicing something else, sin. Sin is natural to us, righteousness is not. If we are not steering towards righteousness, we will be drifting into sin at any given moment. Ephesians 4:19 is a warning, “They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity“. Here we see an anxiousness to practice sin, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But if we would only practice righteousness, even though it feels awkward at first and unnatural, we will become righteous God promises us. “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” (1 John 3:7 ESV)Continue Reading