Aiming at Nothing

“My goal is to be a godly man.” This was what I blurted out in response to the facilitator’s questioning. You could have heard a pin drop. I think that’s probably the first and last time someone on a time management course gave that particular answer!

Steffen Weidenhaus 143287 Unsplash

Swamped by an unending ‘to do’ list, I had taken myself off to a time management course entitled “balancing a busy workload” at the University of Glasgow where I was sure I’d find the answer to a stress-free, productive life.  Time, we were told sagely, can only be managed; it cannot be created. We have only twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and 52 weeks a year. It’s the one thing they aren’t making any more of.   

We were encouraged to identify our rocks. There are three kinds: things that weigh us down, pretty “nice to haves” (our pearls), and sparkling jewels of exceptional value (our diamonds).  Think about your life. What irksome burdens do you carry? What pearly tasks are essential, but leave you jaded like an out of fashion broach that’s lost its lustre? What inspires, excites and thrills you? We were encouraged to DITCH the rocks, DELEGATE the pearls, and DELIVER on the diamonds.   

“My goal is to be a godly person.” That’s a diamond worth mining for.  No earthly prize could ever compensate for letting that jewel slip thought my fingers. But what exactly does godliness look like?  I think it looks a lot like Galatians 5:22-26: 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. 

Maybe you know this kind of person: gracious, dependable, gentle, joyful, peaceful, loving, self-controlled and selfless. To put it negatively, such a person is not boastful or ambitious, not a troublemaker, not envious of others. Some might dismiss this description as old fashioned, quaint, and simplistic; but the Bible says that these characteristics are formed in people by the Holy Spirit.    

How, then, can you reach such a worthy goal? It can only be attained by those who have confessed their need and trusted Christ for salvation. How can the believer become godly? 

  • You must renounce all known sin 
  • You must be rooted in the fundamental truths of the Bible 
  • You must respond in obedience to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to you through the Bible and conscience 
  • You must be daily controlled by Him in every step of life. 

If we follow these pointers, we shall be enabled by God’s grace to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, living soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (Titus 2:12).