Friday, August 29, 2014

2 Timothy 3:1-7 -- On Learning Lies

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
2 Timothy 3:1-7

It is interesting to be in the last days as we are and to read this list, because I think perhaps it was meant to be this list of really horrible things, but to us it seems normal.  And maybe, for us, we need to remember first that these *are* horrible things, and then read it again.
We have a tendency to focus outwardly when we read things like this, thinking about how we've observed these things in other people.  And that might be true, but let's focus inwardly for a moment and consider: how many of these things can we see in ourselves?  It won't do us any good to wade out into our world and start labeling people with these problems, but it could do a lot of good if we recognize them in ourselves and work to change.
The silly women part I am sure could also be silly men... and good to not be silly and easily led, but I think that the point is that we shouldn't prey upon people, even silly ones.  Being the temptation for someone else might make us feel powerful, and sometimes disobedience and danger is exciting.  ... But it never equals good, and it doesn't lead to long term happiness.  We have enough to deal with repenting of our own sins; we definitely don't need to get mixed up in being even a little bit responsible for anyone else's.
The ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth part I find to be the saddest.  God is offering to teach us every day, and when we choose to learn other things, we lose so much.  All the things on this list are things that we learn about, learning how to be proud, how to be sneakier and more tempting, and how to get away with lies or theft, how to look holy on the outside but be unholy on the inside.  ... We get really good at those things, because we spend time learning them.  But what could we accomplish if we actually started learning real holiness?  What if we started accepting tutoring from God?  If we spent the same time on learning good things that we have spent in our lives learning bad things, we would be super double-plus amazing. :)  And, we'd start getting some truth in our lives instead of feeding ourselves lies.
I'm not saying that we're all pure evil.  Just that it is the last days, and I think we are all more intimately familiar with this list than we should be.  Let's not blow it off as normalcy.  Let's take it to heart, and start changing ourselves, and letting God into our lives.

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