1 Timothy 6:3-10
Godliness is not a means to an end. A godly life like Paul describes in Timothy is the natural result of a personal relationship with Jesus. If our godliness is a tool we use to better our standing among our peers, to relieve the pressure of unconfessed sin or to put us in a position to live more comfortably, than we are deceiving ourselves. We are preaching a false doctrine to ourselves and pursuing ‘godliness’ rather than God. This is what Paul says is so ungodly about the false teachers in Timothy’s church. There is nothing more ungodly than the pretense of godliness for selfish gain.
True godliness is a result of loving Jesus well. It’s the outward manifestation of the spirit of God living inside of us. Godliness is not a ladder to be climbed. If we ‘pursue godliness’ as a means to an end, we have completely misunderstood scripture, or even worse, we have twisted it to our benefit. If we long for some right or for a reward for our godliness, have missed the gospel of Jesus.
True godliness comes with a contentment for Jesus. True godliness is being overwhelmed by the kind and gracious death of Jesus on the cross for our sins. If you are looking for a return on investment for your godliness, you are still in need of the gospel. Godliness is the result of the gospel of Jesus in your life, it’s not the means to the gospel or anything else.
We must resist the temptation to demand better standing among our peers or an easier life from God because of our godliness. True godliness is a gift from God. It is the reward. It is the result of the grace of God that has been lavished upon us. If we cannot be content in God today, what hope of contentment do we have in anything?