Monday, August 27, 2012

Religion vs. Godliness

I believe we’re living in the last days. At least today is the last day I’ve lived. It might even be the last day. Jesus might come back today. But in the meantime, I can look around and see the signs. One of the signs is that people act religious but aren’t godly. That’s probably been a problem in the church since the beginning, but I know it’s a problem now. There are people who claim to be Christians but don’t “walk the walk.” I really want to be godly, but I wonder how much of my life is just religious.

In this passage, Paul makes it easy for us to tell the difference. He gives Timothy a list of behaviors of faux religious people and a list of godly behaviors. Here’s my summary.

Faux Religious People:

love only themselves and their money
boastful and proud
scoffing at God
disobedient to their parents
consider nothing sacred
unloving and unforgiving
slander others
have no self-control
hate what is good
betray their friends
be reckless
be puffed up with pride
love pleasure rather than God

Godly People:

Accept the power that can make them godly

Okay, that was a trick list, but it simplifies the Christian life in a lot of ways. In order to live a godly life, all I have to do is accept the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, let Him do it in me.

The problem is that there are some behaviors in the religious list that sound awfully familiar. I spend a lot of time acting religious instead of godly. Or to be more accurate, I spend a lot of time trying not to be a hypocrite – fighting those behaviors because I know they’re not pleasing to God.

It’s a losing battle.

The only way to win is to accept the power that can make me godly.

The only way to win is to submit to the power of the Holy Spirit.

The difference between acting religious and being godly is God. Duh.

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