1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
(faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity [agape])
If you want to inject a potential conversation-stopping word into the room, try “godliness.” Even if it doesn’t completely stop the conversation, it will surely slow it down, likely silence some voices, and certainly create some tension for the discussion. While this should not be the case, sadly it still is. The word “godliness” means piety and holiness (possibly two more conversation-shakers). It has its origin in two words that have come to its present form in one. The two words to which I refer are “God” and “likeness.” It does not mean that a human being is God, nor should it. Rather it DOES mean that a human being is like God in his example of pious living and holiness, especially in the scheme of living according to the Gospel, or the Word.
Living according to the Word is a choice one must make. It doesn’t just happen because you become a Christian, but if you’re not a Christian, it is an impossible choice. However, if, as a Christian, you make such a determined choice, prepare yourself for criticism, persecution, and spiritual attacks of almost every kind. Living such a life is, without a doubt, a powerful example to observers of Whom you serve, Whom you place first in your life, and Whom you trust in every situation of life. It is a life of faith demonstrated in every step of your life. Godliness is not a life, however, of being beat up and suffering. It is, rather, a life of living in victory, demonstrating faith in God at every interval of life, and regardless of circumstances, coming out “without the smell of smoke” on you.
Once again, you WILL be criticized, you WILL be persecuted, you WILL be attacked in so many ways, but you WILL ALSO BE victorious. You see, to live a life of godliness, you live a life modeled after love, and love NEVER fails. A life of godliness is a life modeled after Jesus. It is a life of imitation, as the Scriptures command, “Be ye followers (imitators) of God as dear children.” When you imitate God through faith, you will also achieve the same results that Father would achieve were He facing precisely the same issue(s) that you face. For me, dear friend, that is one of the most comforting truths that help me keep my heart and mind settled on Jesus, regardless of circumstances. And in this present hour, that comfort is probably more needed than at any time in our lives. Our world is in turmoil. There will come a time when it will get worse. But, regardless of that, godliness is a safe haven into which I can turn daily in this present world. Turn in with me, and let’s fellowship.
Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; 1 Timothy 6:1-19