How would you measure a person’s Godliness? Would you consider their appearance? Would you measure it by their faithfulness to Church? Would you measure it by their time spent praying and reading their Bibles? Would you measure it by their evangelistic efforts? Those are all good measurements of what we are suppose to do and be as Christians, however; I believe God has a different measuring stick of godliness. Please understand that I am not undermining the above practices. I believe Christians that should live in a way that is pleasing to God. I just think this aspect of Christianity is overlooked and in many cases is viewed contrary to the way it is presented in Scripture.
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:12 that “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The first time I read this piece of scripture I said to myself: “Lord I am not suffering that much.” The answer I received back from the Holy Spirit was life changing. The response I received from God’s Spirit was “then that should tell exactly how godly you are actually living.” In other words, what if God measures our godliness by the extent of suffering and persecution we encounter and endure? Please know that this is just as difficult for me to write as it is for you to read. I also realize that living in a free country makes persecution look different than it would in a country where being a Christian is illegal. While living in America we may not be faced with imprisonment or physical harm, but when we live for the Lord on a public level we will face levels of rejection, criticism, and adversities.
We must understand that suffering and persecution are not elective courses but required realities of life. Those that have desire to follow Jesus Christ must accept the fact that we have to take up our cross and then follow Jesus. (Luke 9:23). Jesus promised and predicted that if the world hated him, it will also hate us. What does this means? It means that living a godly lifestyle comes with a cost. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are able willing to accept the cost. If not Jesus says we cannot be his disciples. (Luke 14:25-27)