The grace of God that brings salvation instructs its recipients to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age (Titus 2:11-12).
So, exactly what on earth does godliness look like?
Jesus’ specific answer could not be more clear: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
To be godly you must love your enemies. One of the inherent facts of living soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age is that such a lifestyle stirs hostility and venomous ill will within the hearts of the unrighteous and ungodly. In response to such opposition, the godly seek what is in the best interest of their antagonists, regardless of the cost to themselves.
To be godly you must bless those who curse you. Your adversaries wish calamity and condemnation upon you. In response you do not speak harshly or unkindly; instead, you speak well to them in their presence and well of them in their absence.
To be godly you must do good to those who hate you. The night Judas betrayed Jesus was the night Jesus washed Judas’ feet (cf. John 13:1-12, 21-30). Treating others as you would want to be treated—Matthew 7:12—is applicable even when dealing with those who detest you.
To be godly you must pray for those who despitefully use you. Jesus was hated to death. He was falsely and recklessly accused. His enemies sought to injure Him permanently. When their heinous plotting finally resulted in His crucifixion, His first words from the cross was a prayer: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
Both Jesus’ teaching and His actions clearly show what on earth godliness looks like.
Is it visible in your life?