How to Grow in Godliness
As Christians, we are expected to grow in godliness as we spend time working on our relationship with God. But is growing in Godliness as easy as it sounds?
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What Is Godliness?
Dictionary.com defines godliness as conforming to the laws and wishes of God; devout; pious; coming from God; divine. When someone is pious in a good sense it’s because they have or display the proper reverence for God or have an earnest wish to fulfill their religious obligations.
Godliness is the English translation of the Greek word eusébeia, (pronounced yoo-seb’-i-ah); from G2152; piety; specially, the gospel scheme:—godliness, holinessG2150.
The root word for eusébeia is eusebḗs, (pronounced yoo-seb-ace’); meaning well-reverent, i.e. pious:—devout, godlyG2152. This brings us full-circle to our English definition. A person who is godly then is one who follows God’s laws and shows Him the proper reverence.
Why Is Godliness Important?
But why is godliness important? The Bible tells us to pursue godliness (1 Timothy 6:11 NIV). This tells me that godliness is not our natural state. How can it be when every intention of our heart is only evil continually and our hearts are desperately wicked? We only have to examine a child for a few minutes to understand that sin is such an ingrained part of our nature that no one has to teach a child how to do wrong…it simply happens.
We know that sin separated man from God and left us to pay a penalty which is death. Thank God for His grace which provided His Son as the perfect sacrifice for our imperfect lives. Godliness is necessary if we are to be reconciled to God.
If we want to receive the reward that comes from faithfulness, we have to put off our old character and take on the righteousness of God. Are you beginning to see the importance of having a godly character?
How We Grow in Godliness
So how do we go about building a godly character? It starts with an acknowledgment that we are sinful and are in need of a Savior. Next, we must pursue godliness. Psalm 1 gives us an outline of what it looks like to build a godly character.
1. Don’t follow the advice or counsel of wicked or ungodly people (verse 1).
2. Don’t associate or surround yourself with sinners and scoffers (verse 1).
3. Delight in God’s law (verse 2).
4. Meditate on God’s Word day and night (verse 2).
It seems fairly easy, doesn’t it? Yet it hints at habits that must become a part of our daily lives if we are to grow in godliness…habits like choosing our friends wisely, Bible study and being careful about our watching and reading habits.
Review of Growing in Godliness: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Maturing in Christ
The rise of the internet has given us access to a plethora of information. This access is a double-edged sword—we have information to help us in various areas of our lives. But we also have access to information that maybe we should not be exposed to.
Our children also have this same access. Oh, there are parental controls to put limits and locks but everyday hackers and malicious internet users find ways to bypass our security systems.
So, what’s a girl—or parent—to do when they want to protect their children from accessing information that’s not suitable for them? It comes down to equipping them with the knowledge to do the right thing even when we’re not there. We do that when we provide them with the right tools like a Bible and Bible studies written specifically for our young people.
Growing in Godliness: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Maturing in Christ by Lindsey Carlson is one such guide. It offers a ten-step guide for growing in godliness. As you go through each lesson, you are encouraged to partner with God, learn to depend on Him and monitor your growth.
Know God: To depend on God we must learn to trust Him as we recognize our limits while acknowledging that God is limitless. But before we can learn to trust God we must get to know Him. We begin the process of knowing God as we spend time in Bible study and prayer.
Know yourself: To grow in godliness, we must learn to wait on God’s timing. While we may wish that we would immediately be transformed into perfect Christians the minute we accept Jesus and Lord and Savior, we must go through the process of sanctification.
Becoming a godly person is a process and we have to play our part even as we allow God to play His. We must practice godliness even as we pursue holiness. To do this we must look at who we are in Christ and continue to strive towards the mark of perfection.
Run your race: As we grow in godliness, we must also check our growth. How will we know if we’re developing the character of God if we never take the time to check? Sometimes we don’t realize how much we’ve grown in godliness until we make time for self-reflection.
As we look back, we are encouraged by how much we’ve grown while recognizing that we still have a long way to go.
While I’m not Mrs. Carlson’s intended audience as I’m way past my teenage years, I still found things to ponder about how to grow in godliness as I read through this book. Growing in Godliness: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Maturing in Christ gives a clear blueprint as to what needs to be done as we grow in godliness.
Have you read Growing in Godliness: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Maturing in Christ? I’d love to hear what you thought. I received a copy of this book as part of Crossway’s Blog Review Program; a positive review was not required.
About Growing in Godliness: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Maturing in Christ
The teenage years are prime for developing beliefs and habits that will serve as a foundation for a lifetime of following Jesus. Young women need to be prepared theologically for the practical challenges that will come during their teen years—challenges such as finding a sense of belonging, fluctuating emotions, and making decisions about their future.
Through 10 practical lessons on topics related to identity in Christ, trusting God’s sovereignty, the importance of the church, the place of emotions, and more, this winsome book will teach girls how to seek maturity in Christ as they navigate the teenage years—setting them up to grow in godliness throughout the rest of their lives.
What Does the Bible Say About Godliness?
But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11 NIV).
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 Timothy 4:8 ESV).
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:12-12 NIV).
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV).
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:12-12 NIV).
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world (1 Timothy 6:6-7 ESV).
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8 NKJV)
About Lindsey Carlson
Lindsey Carlson is a pastor’s wife and the mother of five children. She serves in ministry alongside her husband in Baltimore, Maryland, where they planted Imprint Community Church in 2017. She enjoys teaching and discipling women in her local church and through writing and public speaking. You can find more of her writing at www.lindseycarlson.net.
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