Monday, December 7
Scripture: 1 Timothy 1-4
1 Timothy 1:3–5 When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. 4 Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God. 5 The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.
Paul begins this letter to young Pastor Timothy with instructions to stop some people from spreading falsehoods, from teaching what is “contrary to the truth.” The truth matters!
Most likely it was Jewish or Gnostic teachers who were using genealogies and fables (fiction) that were creating confusion. Paul described these as a waste of time, unhelpful, and said that they resulted in useless or meaningless speculation.
The truth, by contrast, would “help people live a life of faith in God,” and would result in “love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith.” He is talking about the truth of the gospel.
Truth matters. As I said a week ago, our culture has been suffering from “truth decay” for awhile, but it’s certainly intensified recently with the conflation of news/opinion/entertainment and with the spread of conspiracy theories.
I love how Eugene Peterson translated v. 4 in the Message:
1 Timothy 1:4 (The Message) Apparently some people have been introducing fantasy stories and fanciful family trees that digress into silliness instead of pulling the people back into the center, deepening faith and obedience.
Untruth will cause us to digress into silliness rather than being pulled back into the center (Jesus), deepening our faith and obedience. I see so many people swallowing myths and being pulled into silliness. Truth matters! Focus on God’s word! They train people to spot counterfeit money by teaching them to know the real thing inside out. Know the truth!
If what you’re focusing on is not resulting in love, in a life of faith in God, in deepening faith and obedience, then you’re focusing on the wrong thing!
Prayer: Lord, help me and Christians in general to care about truth, and not swallow the distracting silly myths that are being promoted. Help us to be deeply grounded in the truth of your word so that we can spot the counterfeit (untruth) easily.