”…but godliness [piety] is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)
What is it?
Piety is putting God at the centre of my life and considering for Him first in all my decisions and actions. We see it perfectly expressed by the Lord Jesus Christ when here on earth. ”Great is the mystery of godliness [piety], God was manifest in the flesh, …believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16). Everything that the Lord Jesus did was according to the will of His Father. He said, ”I do always those things that please him.” (John 8:29). How often I make decisions without first asking the Lord if it is His will that I should do it, and am I prepared to give up an idea if He says, “No”?
How can I relate piety to my life?
I should seek the Lord’s will first in all things that I do in my life. Very often I only seek His mind in the big decisions of life, such as what I should study, what I should do to earn my living, where I should live and whom I should marry. No Christian should undertake any of these things without first seeking the Lord’s will and guidance, but they should also seek the Lord’s mind in everything however small and seemingly unimportant. By getting into the habit of going to the Lord first, I bring the Lord into everything, and I learn what piety really is.
I have to learn piety by reading the scriptures for guidance and praying about everything. This is what seeking the Lord’s mind and His will in my life means.
Piety is profitable for everything, not just for big decisions in life. A wrong decision may be made with a lifetime’s consequences, all because I did not seek the Lord’s mind first!
Are all Christians marked by piety?
Christians can make serious mistakes in life through lack of piety, and by making up their minds about something before they ask for the Lord’s guidance and help. Piety does not come naturally to us. By nature we are independent and like to please ourselves, but ”We ought… not to please ourselves… for even Christ pleased not himself.” (Romans 15:1-3).
If I am marked by piety, what might I face?
Seeking to please the Lord in all things may lead to loss or disadvantage to ourselves, but the apostle Paul says that ”godliness [piety] with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6). This means that I must learn to be content in doing His will, and if necessary suffering loss in this world. If I give up an ambition or plan for self-advancement because there is no place in it for the Lord Jesus, I may have to learn to be content with a lower standard of living or less money and not become embittered by such an experience.
”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).
My one desire should be to seek out what is pleasing to Him first, and to bring the Lord into everything. He will take care of us, and I will learn to be content with what He provides.
[Reproduced with permission]