Now that we are few weeks into 2012, I wonder how our New Year’s Resolutions are coming? Is anyone still as motivated as they were on Jan. 1?
My list this year looked different than ever before, because it was mostly blank. Not because I don’t realize there are lots of area I could work on, but I decided not to begin the year with my own plan, but rather to wait and see what direction God would lead. Last year brought so many changes into my life (some really great changes as well as some really difficult ones) that I have struggled to find a new “normal.” By nature, I am a planner, and I think waiting may be the most difficult resolution I have ever attempted. Countless times in the past few weeks I have started to make a plan of my choosing, only to be reminded of my goal to stop and wait on the Lord!
After one such reminder, I was directed to the following verses in my daily Bible reading.
“…train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value but godliness has value for all things holding promise for the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7b-8)
After reading this passage it occurs to me how obvious it is that godliness does not instantly accompany salvation. Salvation is a gift, but godliness is a continuous pursuit. What this means for us is our desire for godly characteristics, (such as patience and self-control in my case) are something we have to be intentional about developing…they won’t just happen. The Greek word for “train” is “gumnazo” from which we derive the word “gymnasium,” a place of training. The passage then compares the value of physical training to the benefits of godliness now and in “the life to come”
All of us struggle with a sin nature that fights hard against our efforts to grow in godliness, but we have to fight back! The battle may come in the form of physical effort, like eating healthier or getting off the couch and taking a walk, or a relational one, like being willing to have a healthy confrontation in order to help resolve family problems. To begin with, both may be uncomfortable, but they will get easier the more we push forward!
So, back to our resolutions, let’s recommit to those healthy changes we began to pursue a few weeks ago, and keep our “training” going! Remember, godliness has value for now and the future. It will be worth the effort!
Because Every Heart Matters,
Heart Matters is a weekly column written by Angie Land, Director of the Family Life Ministries of the Lafayette Baptist Association, where she teaches bible studies, leads marriage and family conferences and offers biblical counseling to individuals, couples and families. Contact Angie with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org