"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, GODLINESS" II Peter 1:5-6
One of the embarrassing moments of my mediocre athletic experience happened when I was playing High School baseball for the Warsaw Tigers. I came to bat with runners on base and a chance to knock them in with a base hit. The pitch came and it was a late-breaking curve that I started to swing at but then tried to stop my swing and take the pitch for a ball. However, my bat went too far and made contact with the pitch resulting in a weak little ground ball that the first basemen easily scooped up and tagged the base. I was out. Upset at myself, I took off my batting helmet as I crossed first base and slammed it to the ground so hard that it bounced back higher than my head.
My head coach was coaching first base and as I turned to head back toward the dugout he was standing there in the coaching box waiting for me. He was clearly angry and he lit into me about how I not only made myself look bad but I made the whole team and Warsaw High School look bad.
I had never seen him so upset and I knew he was right and was justified in his scolding of me. I immediately apologized as I realized I had only thought about myself and my own frustration and forgot that I represented Warsaw Community High School and the WCHS athletic program.
In my disappointment with myself for making an out I lost sight of my "Tigerness".
That is a picture of what Peter means when he call on us to "add to our faith.....godliness..."
What is Godliness?
Godliness comes from the Greek word "eusebia" and is used in the New Testament to express the idea of inner piety or spirituality. Vine defines this word as, "piety, which, characterized by a God-ward attitude, does that which is well pleasing to Him." Thayer says, "Reverence, respect, in the Bible everywhere piety towards God, godliness." And, Arndt and Gingrich says it refers to, "the duty which man owes to God piety, godliness, religion."
Thus, there are two parts to godliness. First, there is the "God-ward attitude" of "reverence and respect." Second, there also is the "doing of what is pleasing" to God, as the "duty" that we owe to Him.
Just as Coach Bock sternly admonished me for embarrassing the team with both my attitude AND my actions, Peter urges these believers to "think like God and act like God".
Godliness loves God and lives like it loves God. Godliness thinks and acts like God so that others think well of God and want to know Him as well.
Do you love God? Do your actions show it?