You know, there is something fascinating about speaking another language. It is true, it’s not always fun and sometimes you can mix sinfulness with singleness or hat with cat or chicken with kitchen. I still do all those mistakes when I don’t sleep enough and my brain and my mouth decide to stop playing in the same team.
But there are words that you can’t get wrong. Words that, when you hear them for the first time, make sense in your mind in a completely different and new way. It’s as if you could see them. That’s what happened to me the first time I heard the word godliness. It made sense by itself. It is to be good in the sense that God is good. It didn’t need any explanation. You know what is good, you know who God is… then you know the meaning of godliness.
It puzzles me when I can’t find an accurate translation of an English word into my language. Godliness becomes piety in Spanish. It somehow sounds like spending the rest of your days on a monastery, reflecting about God and life. How far from the real godliness! Think about people like William Wilberforce, for example. He was well known for his godliness. But he seemed to have understood godliness as reflecting God’s character in bringing the slavery in the UK to an end. Godliness that changes the world. Not in a monastery but right in the middle of the Parliament.
Last week, I was with a group of friends thinking about the relationship between Jesus and the Law. Godliness comes to my mind as one of the key words to understand this relationship. “Be good because the Lord your God is good”. That’s why we can see so much about God’s character in his law, so we can imitate it. And Jesus was, in every sense, the perfect representation of God’s goodness. So it makes sense to see the word godliness clearly. When I think of godliness, I think of Jesus.
I cannot create a new word in my language. But God can create a godly woman in me so others in my country could see how He looks like. That’s my prayer.