Form of Godliness

                             Alicia Sanderson

When I think about the term “the form of godliness” I automatically think about how we should treat one another as would be pleasing to God.  Regardless if a person is spiritual or not, there’s a scripture that supports my thought which is Luke 6:31 “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Of course, when dealing with ‘worldly’ people we can’t expect them to know scripture, but even they understand the Golden Rule. When it comes to those who are deemed believers, I personally notice that even they don’t really apply this scripture to their daily lives.  There are some, but it appears to be few that carry the form of godliness to the extent of it being a way of life.  They understand it’s scripture and our obedience to it is pleasing to God.  If I am a believer in Christ, it’s not fair that people mostly see those who are unsaved living by this scripture.  I’ve experienced numerous occasions of believers that talk about God, praise Him on Sundays and serve within ministries, but there is not an exemplification of having the form of godliness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking for myself, carrying a form of godliness would include different attributes like being loving, kind, gentle, etc.…  If I see my brother or sister slip, I’m there to catch them.  I will be a team player to assist in areas that are needed. I will ensure that I’m always pleasant and welcoming.  I will make it a priority to build up my sisters and encourage my brothers. I will be positive, supportive and encouraging. I will offer my mentorship to those who are new to the faith and following the way of God. These things become natural affections.

On the other hand, to watch your brother and sister fall short with no problem, to be rude or nasty, close-minded to the feelings, thoughts and considerations of others do not show forth godliness. Not giving the same level of grace and mercy to others that God has given to us is a statement against the love and forgiveness of God. There have been times I’ve expressed these concerns to God in prayer.  For a long time, I would not desire to attend church or I viewed ‘Christians’ in a negative way because I wasn’t able to see them showing love and compassion from a different level according to God’s word.  I thought the saved were supposed to assist the kingdom of God with those who are unsaved but I always saw the opposite.

As I begin to do further research of this topic, I realized it was a perfect reason why this always was an issue for me as the Bible clearing speaks on this. Let’s start with the scripture for this particular issue in 2 Timothy 3:5, “Having the appearance of godliness, but denying it’s power. Avoid such people.”  Paul warns us of certain characters who will appear in the last days.  It is a very terrible list. Similar ones have appeared in other days, but we are led by this warning to know that they will appear in greater numbers in the last days than in any previous age.  “Lovers of themselves, covetous, boasters, proud, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, fierce, despisers of those who are good, traitors, high minded. lovers of pleasures more than God, blasphemers.” These will swarm like flies in the end of the age, and will make times extremely perilous. We are nearing that period at this very time. We are made aware that some of these people will be within the church, which is the most painful part of it.

My experience with the ‘Christian’ community hasn’t always been a piece of cake.  I can remember as a young girl my grandmother taking me to church regularly. I watched older people talk about others in such a way that it would place a sour taste in my mouth.  To see someone struggle, yet instead of being helpful people would laugh at their misfortune. Once I got older, I experienced it firsthand myself from a pastor. As a pastor, she helped me when I fell short but at the same time she dogged my personal issues to members of the ministry and even cursed me out in front of my children. I’ve seen people handle others in such a disrespectful and degrading way that it had me question their salvation. I’ve experienced people within ministries seeing something wrong about a person and laughing at them with other members instead of bringing it to the person’s attention so they can correct the behaviors, characteristics or actions. In another situation, I was looked down upon when I walked into a ministry because of my state of mind. Still yet, no one reached out to even get to know me. 

In short, we cannot call ourselves Christians and not carry true forms of godliness.  We cannot believe this is pleasing to God as we are charged to uplift the kingdom of God and save souls for Christ.  If someone visits a ministry, the first thing they will focus on is what about these Christians makes me want to change for the better. They observe our attire, attitude, communication with others in the ministry and if we are friendly and welcoming. If the forms of godliness are not visible than we can cancel that possible soul out of the kingdom of God as far as us making a positive impact. Everybody doesn’t have the same level of strength. Some may see such ungodliness with minimal effect while this negativity can completely turn the hearts of others.

Although, everyone’s focus should be God, this isn’t the case with everyone.  We must be realistic to understand that people who do not know God need us as believers to help teach and show them the appropriate characteristics that will lead them to God. This will not be possible if we do not truly have the form of godliness. If each of us decide to be a better example for Christ with a desire to be a form and representation of His character, we can make a positive impact in the world, our communities and our ministries.

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