READ: 1 Timothy 6:3-10
- Yesterday’s text (1 Timothy 6:11) simply says, “Flee these things.” Without a context, that is a pretty meaningless command. It doesn’t get much more nebulous than these things. But, when you reach back to what Paul writes immediately before that, it is filled with content. And it makes good sense why he says we are to run from these things. They are all categorically problems for believers, especially in a congregational context.
- Just reading through the text the list becomes: false teaching, controversy, quarrels, producing strife, envy, dissension, suspicion, friction among believers, serving for money, malcontent, and greed. All of these things are to be avoided, rejected, and abhorred. Why? Because they all bring division and strife into the body of Christ. The church (which is represented by local congregations) is One entity. We live in harmony with one another. Whatever breaks that is evil.
- We might create our own list based on modern concerns which still reflect the foundational truths of Paul’s list. Our list might look like this: being disagreeable (disagreeing is not the issue), talking negatively about people, disrespecting leadership, trying to take the church in a different direction, or refusing to let brothers/sisters in to help shepherd you. Fortunately so little of that happens here, we hardly ever have to deal with it.
- Why do you suppose Paul put so much emphasis upon these things instead of more typical behavioral issues?
- What sins would you list in the category of “run from these things”?
- How would you finish this sentence? “The underlying principle behind these things is…”
PRAY: Ask God to keep you alert to the kinds of attitudes that would be divisive among believers. Pray that we can maintain a spirit of unity at Madison Park. Commit to doing your part to reflect unity in Christ’s Body.