Not long ago I was given the opportunity to speak at a weekend Christian retreat to a group of women on the subject of piety. Often this word is associated negatively with the word “pious”. Synonyms for pious can be having a self-righteous or holier-than-thou attitude. Some people think of pious as being sanctimonious or hypocritical like the Pharisees.
“But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men, for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” ~Matthew 23:13 (NKJV)
My job was to share with these ladies the true definition of PIETY – directing one’s whole life to God. Some synonyms for piety include: allegiance, belief, faith, grace, loyalty, and obedience.
My first thought was, “How can I talk about directing my whole life to God when I haven’t always done that?” You see, I lived most of my adult life trying to direct my own life. I believed that anything I gained in life was directly attributed to how hard I worked, how much knowledge I gained, and the connections I made with others. I spent a good portion of my adult life trying to prove to myself, and others, that I was the one in control of my life and my destiny. My striving for accolades and monetary security never filled a void that God was meant to fill.
PEOPLE AND THINGS WILL NEVER FILL THE VOID GOD IS MEANT TO FILL.
My piety journey has taken me on many twists and turns. I wouldn’t trade anything for the journey God has taken me on. It made me who I am today. However, thank goodness I am now a new creation!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have come new.” ~2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
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I am learning to have a daily dependence on my Savior. I had to learn to rely on not my own power, but HIS power. My piety walk has not been perfect. Through His help, it has become a pattern in my Christian walk. Our Christian life should be about searching for God’s will, being open to God’s Spirit, and allowing our lives to be formed in the image of Christ. My knowledge must come from Him – not how the world wants to “educate” me. How can that be done? Through prayer, reading His word daily, fasting, fellowship with other believers, worship, communion, etc.
Sounds like some great topics for future Blog Posts!