‘…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.’ 1 Timothy 6.11
Godliness can sound a bit boring! It often carries with it the connotation of giving up everything that might be pleasurable, or trying to walk through life wearing a saintly smile! A better definition of godliness is being like God; God as revealed by Jesus. Whatever else you say about Jesus, his life certainly was not boring! He went to parties with people most of us would disapprove of, courted controversy and saw the amazing power of God at work.
There is a well-known phrase, ‘What would Jesus do?’ In so many of the situations in which we find ourselves it is a wonderful question. Often we tend to react in response to an emotion, whether it be love, anger, fear or something else entirely, yet as we read the stories of Jesus we see someone who was not just reacting according to his feelings, but who was seeking to bring the purposes of God to those he met.
Yesterday we looked at the notion that to pursue one path often necessitates turning our backs on another. Pursuing godliness - acting like Jesus did – may well mean turning our backs on what we might instinctively do or say, so that we bring his will, words and actions to a particular situation or person. Without wanting to pile on undue pressure, today we may be the only ones who are able to bring the heart of Jesus to the people we come across.
The reason for pursuing godliness is for the benefit of everyone we meet today and in the days ahead.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission