We Christians may be very disciplined and industrious in our business, our studies, our home, or even our ministry, but we tend to be lazy when it comes to exercise in our own spiritual lives. We would much rather pray, “Lord, make me godly,” and expect Him to “pour” some godliness into our souls in some mysterious way. God does in fact work in a mysterious way to make us godly, but He does not do this apart from the fulfillment of our own personal responsibility. The second principle in Paul’s exhortation is that the object of this training was growth in Timothy’s personal spiritual life. Elsewhere Paul encourages Timothy to progress in his ministry, but the objective here is Timothy’s own devotion to God and the conduct arising from that devotion. Even though he was an experienced, well-qualified Christian minister, Timothy still needed to grow in the essential areas of godliness—the fear of God, the comprehension of the love of God, and the desire for the presence and fellowship of God.
Jerry Bridges, The Practice of Godliness (Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress, 1983), 33.