10/24 1 Timothy 4:7

7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.

The apostle was addressing false teachers who tried to attract followers from the church. These false teachers were trying to teach that godliness included food laws and celibacy. Paul encouraged Timothy to teach the truth that all foods are clean because they are sanctified by the Word of God and prayer (Genesis 9:3).

Paul went on to tell Timothy to teach the church to have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. In other words, just ignore the foolish fictional stories these false teachers share. Instead, train yourself for godliness. The word "train" is an athletic term. It means to exercise discipline to strengthen yourself to perform your best in competition. How is this different from the works that false teachers were proclaiming?

The false teachers' works were taught as a way to become godly. Paul's suggestion of training is for the purpose of living out the godliness we already have in Jesus. Because He lives in us and because we represent Him, we should do spiritual exercises. Those include Bible reading, prayer, fellowship with believers, memorizing Scripture, and constant vigilance to walk in the Spirit so that our flesh is not given control. As believers we desire that the life we have within us be consistently represented in what we do and say.

Consider: How is your training coming? Athletes do it for a perishable trophy, but we practice our training out of gratitude for the One who saved us and set us free from slavery to sin (1 Corinthians 9:25).