In this introductory passage of his letter to Timothy, Paul urges his young friend to ignore the “myths and endless genealogies” that so many of the false teachers relied on. Their goal was to ensnare people with doctrine that sounded interesting and enduring. These teachers had nothing more in mind than to trap people with clever language and inaccurate stories.
Paul says to Timothy immediately after, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5)
The goal of the Gospel message Paul and Timothy were carrying was to encourage and uplift, to draw people into the love of a Heavenly Father. Their goal was to see the world redeemed through the death-conquering sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the life-changing indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
While the false teachers thrived in an environment of deceit and pretense, the two pastors, Paul and Timothy, were cultivating an atmosphere of passion and purpose for other believers to grow in.
It’s the timeless battle of selfishness versus selflessness, arrogance versus humility. We would like to think that our goals and ambitions lined up with Paul’s reminder in verse 5, but if we’re being honest with ourselves and others, do they really?
What is our goal? What is the driving force that pushes us out of bed each morning? The fire in our bodies that equips us to go when all we want to do is stay? If the center of our being is not tucked away in the heart of Jesus, our motives will always resort to our interpretation of self-preservation. Why? Because serving self is far easier than the discomfort assured through serving others.
Life gets tricky, and more often than not, we don’t always know what’s around the next corner. But we cannot continue to live in a place of uncertainty and anxiousness to know what’s in store. When we do, we take our eyes off of the race and risk becoming disqualified. Stay your course.
I’m even speaking to myself when I say we need to be consistent in checking our hearts before the Lord. We may think we’re doing right, but if we are deviating from the Gospel message to secure a sense of comfort in our own lives, I can guarantee we are not serving the Father.
Don’t be afraid to be sincere, to live a life of genuineness and transparency with discretion. The world already has a lot of pretentiousness. People are looking for the Truth that endures beyond time and mortality. Jesus is the answer, and we are the vessel. Go, therefore.