Six Great Bible Verses on Godliness
Everyone makes a personal judgment as to whether or not he or she is godly. That judgment may be based on a definition like one of the following:
- Reflecting “the character of God in their actions and personality” (Buddy Martin, Christian Challenge International)
- “Pleasing to God” (Maeve Maddox, Daily Writing Tips)
- “God-like beauty and intelligence more than the average individual” (Urban Dictionary).
However acceptable these definitions may seem, Bible guidelines offer more specific detail concerning a godly lifestyle.
Here are six great Bible verses by which those who profess godliness can measure themselves. There are others, for sure, but these provide a comprehensive guide, covering all aspects of daily living beginning with the thoughts. They will help guide the focus of the godly person, and can be very effective if stored in the mind.
Thoughts and Attitudes
(1) Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4: 23
It is common knowledge that our thoughts determine who we are and what we do. Most Bible students are familiar with the verse (Philippians 4: 8) which tells us what to think about: things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and commendable. But what is a person to do when a thought of a different quality enters the mind?
The verse in Ephesians stresses renewal. Not merely brushing aside the ungodly thought, but replacing it with a godly thought, and that involves the work of the Spirit. Thoughts and attitudes do not change from ungodly to godly until we make it a habit to have the Spirit filter them.
(2) Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. Ephesians 5: 4
What does a godly person talk and not talk about? This verse is an excellent reference to keep in mind. It does not forbid all story-telling, talking and joking —only those that are offensive to the standards of godliness, inciting or promoting immorality and disgusting in similar ways.
The verse furthers tells us what to talk about—thankfulness. That takes care of negativity like complaints, criticism, and humiliation. In essence, it prompts us to speak positively about ourselves and others; and it is not unusual for the godly person to include reasons for gratitude to God in a friendly conversation.
(3) Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 1 Peter 3: 3, 4
Primarily addressed to women, this verse tells us not to evaluate our worth by what we wear—a principle which is appropriate for both genders. It does not encourage us to neglect our appearance. It stresses that beauty is not put on, but put forth from the inside; that to God, the author of godliness, the beauty of our inner spirit is more important than our outward appearance. There is another verse in 1 Timothy 2: 9, 10 which advises that our clothes should be modest, decent and appropriate – the influence of our inner beauty.
(4) But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Ephesians 5: 3 (New International Version)
This verse calls for integrity in all family, social and business relationships. Just a hint of ungodliness in the conduct of godly people attracts the judgment of those who know the standards of godliness—and understandably so, because it is not becoming. It is expected that the fruit of the Spirit— “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5: 22, 23) will be demonstrated in the conduct of the godly person.
(5) Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. 2 Timothy 2: 22a
In the Bible commentary, the following are listed as by-products of lust: covetousness, incest, homosexuality, vulgarity, profanity, and lewdness—the desire to excite sexual desires in an offensive way. These ungodly acts are not limited to the youth; in fact, some young people become discouraged watching adults lose in their struggle against these vices. The advice is to run from them. Would that include refusing to watch them on television, visiting them on websites, feeding them into the mind through books and song lyrics? The verse tells us what to run from as well as what to run after. Godly people will look for media sites and products promoting godly living.
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(6) Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2: 22b
It is difficult for godly people to enjoy the company of people who show disregard for godliness. That said, it does not encourage rejection of the ungodly; but time spent with people whose company the godly does not enjoy would be limited. Advice from various sources encourages us to keep company with the people whose virtues we would like to emulate.
Pure hearts attract pure hearts. The godly person in pursuit of wholesome relationships will find him or herself drawn to other people who lead godly lives.
Bible verses quoted in this article are from the New Living Translation unless noted otherwise.
© 2013 Dora Isaac Weithers
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