Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Whatever in life is godless – having nothing to do with those things. “What about entertainment? If it’s not based in God, does that mean I reject it?” Maybe. Entertainment is a HUGE issue in North American culture. How DO we spend our free time? Do we no longer watch a baseball or football game? I see the application in this way, and it’s based in the word ‘godless.’ There are hundreds… thousands of things in this world that are godless and sinful. I see godlessness in culture as being the things that are opposed to the way of Christ. It’s not so much that Jesus isn’t a part of the activity, but that the activity is clearly contrary to the holy life that Christ-followers are pursuing. A baseball game is not focused on Christ (although many players bring glory to Jesus through their play) but baseball is not opposed to God either (although many players cuss, etc., and live sinfully in the context of the game). There are other activities that are clearly opposed to the righteous life that God is leading us into as described in the Scriptures. These godless activities, Paul would say, we should have NOTHING to do with.
Paul goes on to say a very important phrase: ‘Train yourself to be godly.’ It takes no training whatsoever to live sinfully and separated from God. That’s how we find ourselves, ‘dead in our trespasses and sins’ (Ephesians 2). Jesus has made us alive! The new life we have in Him requires diligence, training and discipline if we are going to reflect Jesus. Godliness is reflecting Him in our heart attitudes, our words and our actions. Physical training, Paul says, has some value. Godliness has value for ALL things… holding promise for BOTH this life and the next one. Pursing the life of Jesus brings health and vitality and hope to this life and for heaven! It won’t just happen, though. We must train our ourselves to be godly.
I love what Paul writes later… ‘Watch your life and doctrine closely’ (vs. 16). It’s not just my doctrine to keep tabs on… I must watch my life too. In fact, doctrine apart from life has little value. Doctrine expressed though daily living is where the power of the Holy Spirit becomes evident! It’s an interesting idea, one that would be very good to practice – to evaluate all of life’s activities by whether it is opposed to God or not. How many TV programs wouldn’t make the cut? How many movies would be a ‘no-no’ simply because of their subject matter or rating? How much time would be freed up in the pursuit of godliness!?
Training is an everyday activity. Even the days of rest for an Olympic Marathoner are strategic in nature, aren’t they? For me, even this day of rest… especially this day of rest (!) fuels my spiritual training in righteousness.
Father – I choose to train myself in Your way. To be like Jesus is my heart’s desire. Thank You for providing the way in Christ – my sins are atoned for! Thank You for showing the way in Christ… for Your Word that speaks powerfully into my life and for Your Spirit who leads me. Prompt me to reject everything today that dishonors You and is opposed to Your way. I celebrate Your grace and want to enjoy this day that You’ve created in the ways that bring credit and honor to You. Thank You for Your patience and the grace I need everyday. I am Yours… In Christ I live and pray… amen!