In Training

David Bast

READ : 1 Timothy 4:6-10

Train yourself in godliness . . . (v. 7)

Kids like to imitate superstar athletes, the way they dress, how they talk, the moves they make on the court or the field.

But that’s really missing the point. What they should imitate is the way elite athletes practice. It’s their training regimens that ought to be copied. We stand in awe of the grace and power of a Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. But what we don’t see is the years of hard work—endlessly repeated drills, countless shots, unrelenting sessions of tough conditioning. We don’t see the discipline, the drive, the determination to be the very best.

That’s the training, and that’s exactly the approach Paul tells us to take to our spiritual lives. “Train for godliness,” the apostle urges us. The spiritual disciplines are neither complicated nor glamorous: prayer, Bible study, worship; giving, service, obedience. Yet these are the exercises we must continually practice, day in and day out, until we achieve the goal of spiritual fitness—of godliness.

And here’s why, says the apostle. All our physical training can only postpone the inevitable: the decline of our strength and death of our bodies. But godliness is good for you not just in this life; it carries over to the next. Spiritual training has benefits that are literally out of this world. And that’s another sure saying you can count on.


Lord, help me to train for godliness.