Monday, April 28, 2008

False Teachers and True Contentment

working through the next section on 1 Timothy 6:
Teach and urge these things. 3If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
One thing I must not forget to see is the last five words from verse 2 "teach and urge these things". Do you remember when we discussed verses 1-2? The relationship that we are to have with our masters(employers) ? How we are to treat with honour and respect them? How this will all benefit the church? Paul says...Teach this! Urge people to follow this precept.

For those who don't teach this.
For those who teach a different gospel (a different doctrine).
For those who vary from the teachings of Christ and godliness.
You are a false teacher.

False teachers should know that :

  • you are puffed up with pride and really understand nothing.
  • you have an unhealthy desire for controversy and quarrels about words
  • your end product is envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicion and constant friction
  • you deprive people of the truth
  • you imagine that godliness will get you something
Now while it is true that godliness will get you something....all it will get you is contentment.
Contentment is good because we came into this world with nothing, and we will leave it the same way. We learn, through godliness, to be content with the things that we have.

Have to admit, I like that. It is something that I am still be content with what I have. To not want more....whether it be more attention, more "Stuff", more time just to walk my dog and be quiet in myself, more to eat (which I definitely don't need) and so forth. I am still learning this....and I'm discovering the best way to learn it is to stop focusing on me, but instead to focus on God. Fits in well with Jim's sermon from yesterday. Walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16), the more you walk in the spirit, the less you sin.

I need more godliness in my life. I really do.

BUT this passage continues....those who lack contentment want more. It is easy for them therefore to fall into temptations, into snares laid for them, to fall into the many senseless and harmful desires that so easily are the ruination of people. This love of money, this lack of contentment in God, it is the root of all sorts of evils. And because of it, some people leave the Christian faith and find themselves full of pain.

Now I have to admit....I don't quite get the leaving the gospel. At this point in my life I can't honestly conceive of saying NO to God, to walking away from him for "stuff". I just can't. But I suppose if one I want thus and such...and it just a small thing, God won't care. I suppose that one little thing like that could build upon another little thing like that and so on and would just become a slow leaching you away from God. That I suppose I could see. That means diligence in my walk with the Spirit. To not get caught up in that stuff, or those temptations, to be able to RUN as fast as I can from that very thought or action.

I don't want to leave my God. I want to fill my world with godliness so that I can live a life of contentment. So diligence in walking in the spirit is good. Seeking after God is good. This I can do....even on a daily basis....and even perhaps on a minute to minute basis. Let me so be be led.

What about you?


Lillie Ammann said...

Our society today puts so much emphasis on "stuff" - people who listen to the call of the world instead of the Word of God can be led astray and think that contentment lies in having and doing what they want rather than in following God.

Annette said...

so very true.