Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Always Something to Learn (1 Timothy 2:8-3:16)

Today’s scripture: 1 Timothy 2:8-3:16

I’m going to take some literary license with these verses. Forgive me, those of you who are Bible scholars, but I’m not going back to the original language and interpret “men” and “women.” Rather, I’m going to look at these verses as being instructions to all children of God. And yes, there is a method to my madness.

Taking out the gender-specific nouns, I see five things that all followers of Christ can obey.

Lift up holy hands. We are made to worship our Lord God. And whether or not we literally lift our hands, our hearts and minds should have a worship mindset at all times.

Avoid wrath and dissension. Anger is a poison that can destroy one’s soul, and the Bible calls it a deed of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-20). The light of love and the darkness of hate cannot abide together. We are called to love each other, so we must put all anger out of our hearts.

Adorn properly. These verses speak of women’s dressing modestly, but I see this pertaining to proper dress for everyone. And I don’t just mean the clothes we wear. Does our behavior mirror Christ? Or do both our external and our internal selves distract people from seeing God’s truth in us?

Do good works. Each of us as a child of God should strive to serve Him and others at all times. You’ve probably heard the saying, “People don’t care what you say until they see that you care” (or something like that). If we sincerely and faithfully serve others—our neighbors, our community—people will see godliness in action. And they will be attracted to the One who works through us.

Be people of integrity. In chapter three, Paul is writing about deacons and overseers, but can’t all of us be “above reproach” and “respectable” and “temperate”? Shouldn’t we all aspire to be “gentle” and “prudent”?

Sometimes it’s good to read God’s word and ask, “What can I learn?” No matter my age, my gender, my background. Pray for the Spirit to speak to you through all of the Bible.

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