Monday, May 26, 2008

1 Timothy 1:1-17

Have you ever had one of “those” times? The ones where you try to tell someone something and they just will not listen; the times when you want to grab someone, look them in the eye, and impress upon them the importance and truth of what you are saying— but can’t do it. I know that I have. Just today I was visiting with someone who considers themselves quite the intellectual and who tries to seem very “deep” at all times (although no one knows what is truly meant by deep); they were asking me about my political views and my religious views— all of which I am happy to talk about— but asking only for superficial reasons, still, I felt compelled to show how “deep” I was compared to him.

Having just read today’s reading, I reflected on why I felt the need to give so-called deep answers. What I came up with did not look too pretty. I realized I wanted to show off how much I thought about these deep things, I wanted to impart on them my “wisdom.” But Paul tells us that this is not what the motivation of teaching should be; he admonishes us to teach with the aim of instruction should be love. I know that, especially when it comes to something I care about, and when people aren’t listening to me explain those things, that I am not very loving. Luckily Paul tells us how we may achieve the desire: a pure conscience, a clean heart, and sincere faith.

I suggest that all three of these things may be gotten in a variety of ways such as going to church and communing with other Christians; but one of the most important ways very well may be doing exactly what you are doing now: that is having a quite time, a time of your own to reflect on something within the Bible about God. It only makes sense that a personal time with God is required to develop a personal relationship with Him.

So, may such times as these develop within us a pure conscience, a clean heart, and sincere faith.

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