“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7)
In the previous verses, Paul warned Timothy that some people would leave the faith and follow false teachers, which should not surprise him. However, he must be ready to refute and oppose these teachers with the truth he believed and followed since childhood.
The NASB translates the second half of verse seven as, “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness,” and the NKJV says, “and exercise yourself toward godliness. Both translations help us understand what Paul is telling Timothy, to train, discipline, and exercise himself to be godly. To be godly basically means to be more like Christ.
Contrary to the false teachers who are devoting themselves to myths and nonsense discussions about genealogies, Timothy, on the other hand, must devote/train himself toward godliness. The Greek word for train is “gymnase,” from which we get the “gymnasium.” Paul’s point is that as an athlete train for the purpose of being ready to compete, so does Timothy must strive
to be fit and ready for ministry. By striving for personal purity and reading and studying the scriptures, Timothy will be a good servant of Jesus, ready for ministry and an example to the congregation.
Because part of Timothy’s ministry is to teach and command teach things, he must make sure that he is persistent in this life towards godliness so that what he commands is backed up by what he lives, and both he and the church will reap the fruits of a godly life.
Since all believers are called servants of Christ, this instruction to “train” ourselves in godliness applies to all of us. The purpose is not to live a life of extreme asceticism; on the contrary, because our hope is set in the living God, not in ourselves, we can strive to be more like Christ because it benefits ourselves and others.
As believers, the goal of our lives is to be found faithful and receive the commendation in the last day as good and faithful servants, and with this end and goal in mind, we can push beyond our weakness and exercise self-control knowing that he one who calls us, has also given us his Spirit so that we do not give in to the flesh neither listen to the lies of the world and its seducing and erroring ideas about true religion.