Add to Patience…Godliness

2 Peter 1:5-6   “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

One of the most common New Years resolutions is the one to get in shape. Gym memberships spike at the beginning of January with people who have resolved that this will be the year that they reach their fitness goals. Their intentions are probably good, but most people do not follow through. One stat says that within 6 months half of the new members have quit. Another stat says that 67% of gym memberships go completely unused!

We know that we need to lose weight, gain muscle, and increase our cardio fitness…but many of us find that we aren’t willing to but forth the effort to do so. It’s hard! It takes discipline! It takes time! The results are not immediate, so many just quit.

It is hard to stay motivated – which is why some gyms place pictures of body builders around the walls to help us visualize the goal! Those who stick to it enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as their bodies conform to the examples in the pictures. They experience an increase in their level of energy, feeling of wellness, and quality of life. They have determined that the benefits out-weigh the cost.

Peter tells his readers that to their patience they should add the characteristic of godliness. Godliness is something we have to work hard to achieve. It takes patience, discipline, and an overall desire to be like Christ. Paul told Timothy to “…exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7b). The word translated exercise is the Greek word gymnazo. Sound familiar? A gymnasium is a place we go to for training and exercise. Paul and Peter are telling us that we we need to spend time in the spiritual Gym!

So what is godliness? One definition states that it is “the devout practice and appropriate beliefs of God”.  It is the Bible being fleshed out in our daily walk. It isn’t enough to sit and listen to good preaching, reading your three chapters a day, and praying before meals. God doesn’t want to just be a part of your life! He wants to transform your life into the image of His precious son! Romans 12:2 says it this way, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

God’s will is for us to live a transformed, godly life; one that is modeled after the life of our Savior. To do this we can’t just read God’s word, we have to put it into daily practice. This takes discipline, patience and a desire to see Jesus formed in us. Gal 4:19, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.” He is our goal!

Today as we ReFocus our hearts and minds on Christ, let’s hit the gym! It is not always easy to live the life the Bible calls us to, and there will be time when we just don’t feel like it! But if we stick to it out of our love for Christ and desire to be like Him, we will experience the transformational power of the Gospel!