How to Train Yourself to be Godly

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

I Timothy 4:7-8

Train – (verb) to direct the growth of (a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying

Training is a word that gets tossed around a lot, especially this time of year when people are making new resolutions. People, anxious for a change in their lifestyle, know that something needs to happen differently. That given no direction, things will continue to go “off-track” (did you catch the “train” (noun) reference?)

Training a Bonsai Plant

bonsai training

One of Webster’s definitions of “train” is to “direct the growth (of a plant) usually by bending, pruning, and tying”. In order to train a plant, especially to achieve a look or purpose that is different than its nature, specific steps must be taken. Creating bonsai plants involves several types of cutting and shaping. Contrary to popular belief, bonsai trees are not miniature plants, but in reality, are regular plants which have been shaped/created to have a particular look or effect. Wires are used to bend and reposition branches, and later the wires are removed. Leaves are removed and deadwood created to bring about other effects.

Bonsai tree training
Arnold, MD.–8/28/16– A wire is used to shape a tree for its training as a bonsai. “The Baltimore Bonsai Club; founded in 1972; is an active and growing group of bonsai enthusiasts in Central Maryland. Club activities include exhibitions, workshops, collection trips and visiting artists,” according to its website. Baltimore Sun: Kenneth K. Lam KKL_0830 md-darkroom-bonsai lam

Training yourself to be godly, as directed in First Timothy, is similar. Our natural bend or form is sinful. We need to make changes in order to achieve our purpose.

What are some spiritual pruning methods available?

1) Reading the instructions. The Bible gives us direction on how to become more godly. The New Testament is chock-full of directives for us. Love one another, turn the other cheek, don’t show partiality, forgive each other, take care of widows and orphans, etc. And James tells us, if you lack wisdom, just ask God!

2) Do it! Do what, you say? See #1. Do what it says. Be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer. Faith without works is dead. You won’t get your body in shape by reading a book about good exercise. You have to actually “do” the exercise. Funny how that works.

3) Continue doing it. In my recent health journey, I learned this – As I have continued my lifestyle of eating habits, I will continue on my healthy path. But if after I have reached my “goal” I go back to my former habits, guess what? I will find myself back at the place where I started! The changes must be ongoing.

Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.

John 8:31

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed.

2 Timothy 3:14

Continue steadfastly in prayer.

Colossians 4:2

Let brotherly love continue.

Hebrews 13:11

Is it hard sometimes?

Do we fall short at times? Sure! Do you think Olympic athletes have never fallen? Do they quit if something is hard? No! When we start an exercise program, we don’t start with 100 pushups! We start with one. Then two. Then three.

Start today.

Start doing one more thing today that will train yourself to be more godly. Then do another tomorrow. And guess what? In a year, a month, or even a week, that one thing will get easier and easier. And then you will do it without thinking because it will have become a habit, a lifestyle.

And just like the bonsai tree, the wire that is used to bend and reposition the branches will become unnecessary. The habit is made and the training is easier. And then we get to move on to more training in godliness. And godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Happy training in 2020!!

Kandy Chimento

Read Kandy’s Transformation Story here: Gettin’ Back to My Roots

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10 thoughts on “How to Train Yourself to be Godly

  1. Laurie says:

    As a runner, when I think of training, I think of conditioning. This holds true for spiritual training too. we are conditioning the spirit rather than the body, but the principles are the same. It takes practice, we must be intentional, and it will be hard sometimes. The rewards are so worth it, though!

  2. BettieG says:

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I was especially moved by the many Scriptures with the word “continue” in them. This training is not a once and done course, but a lifestyle, a process. Thank you for this precious encouragement and reminder! Blessings to you!

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