The Essence of Godliness

Editor’s note: During 2022, we are focusing on the scriptures found in 2 Peter 1:3-11. These verses teach us about God’s divine nature. We pray that as we reflect on God’s nature, you will see all that He has created you to be! For the month of February, we are focusing on God’s characteristic of GODLINESS.

The way my brain works, putting words on paper is not quite the same as speaking them out of my mouth. When it comes to writing, I seem to not have the words to say or the order in which I want them to come out; however, I would never pass up the opportunity to share a word God has laid on my heart. 

Anyone who knows me knows I stay busy with my extra-large family and my work as a therapist. God has graced me with the ability to speak words that are needed in the moment even when I feel I’m not prepared enough. He somehow always fills my mouth with the words I need when I feel inadequate in my own strength. 

When I think of Godliness, like most people, the first thought that comes to my mind is perfection. For many, it is often compared to doing everything right or making the right decisions. 

As God’s creation and His child, the really cool thing is He does see me perfect, not because of what I do or have done, but because of the finished work of His son and our Lord Jesus Christ. 

It makes you think if God can see me in this way, how should I see others? In my line of work, during countless therapy sessions, I have discovered that some of the most humble and gracious people I have encountered are homeless, addicted to substances, and society offenders. Some may know God, others may not, but some say they have an active relationship with Christ. 

They say things like: they depend on God to survive. They rely on Him to live and they call on Him daily. My fleshly instinct may lead me to judge with thoughts like, if you’re a Christian how come you are not being more “Godly” or Christ-like? 

Part of what God has shown me about Godliness is it is not necessarily about a devout religious practice but a reflection of Kingdom work. As much as I see strongholds, I see a work that is in progress that only God will complete. Scripture tells us in Philippians 1:6 that “He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I may see a person differently that society judges as unworthy or messed up if I have my Kingdom lens on. This is the message shared with us in 2nd Peter 1:3-5. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through or knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. God gives us the assurance that through Him, we can participate in His divine nature that enables us to look past the corruption or sin to see his signature on all creation including His children.”

The essence of Godliness is reflecting the nature of the Kingdom of God in the course of everyday life. In my world, it may mean being dressed in the character of God and look past judgment and shame and guilt to love or help those in need. 

I see parallels in working with clients and patients. In the therapy world, we call it Unconditional Positive Regard. The Definition of Unconditional Positive Regard is when you show complete support and acceptance of a person no matter what the person says or does. This approach is very strength based and helps with empowerment motivation and confidence building. 

I see Godliness as embracing a Kingdom reality of being able to look past human flaws, to long to see people set free from strongholds, to see people the way God sees them. 

We would like to thank Katie Ssejjemba for writing this blog post.

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