[348 words]

Devotion in action. Seeking to be like God for God’s sake. With phrases such as this we attempt to convey what we mean when we speak of living a godly life. In a world that is searching for the right way to live and the best way to experience fulfillment, it is godliness that is greater than any alternative.

Jesus Christ (in word and deed, message and example) trains us to renounce ungodliness and to live godly lives in the present evil age (cf. Titus 2:12). He demonstrated that godliness is greater than any material or worldly comfort.

Godliness is greater than physical health. “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Tim. 4:7b-8). Jesus gave up the perfect and glorious existence of Heaven in order to be subjected to the cruelty of humanity (cf. Matt. 26:67; 27:30; John 10:17-18). He chose godliness in spite of the suffering it brought.

Godliness is greater than personal comfort. “But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God” (1 Tim. 5:4). Even from the cross Jesus was cognizant of the well-being of His mother (John 19:26-27). He chose godliness in the midst of a time when nearly all others would have been thinking of themselves.

Godliness is greater than wealth. “There is great gain in godliness with contentment” (1 Tim. 6:6). Jesus took the form of a servant and was born just like any other man (Phil. 2:7). He gave up the glory of Heaven to have fewer creature comforts than the foxes and birds (Matt. 8:20). Jesus did without material wealth so that we could see what it meant to be godly (Titus 2:12).

Godliness is greater than any worldly comfort.

Bart Warren
South Green Street church of Christ
Glasgow, KY

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