2 Timothy 3
New American Standard Bible
“Difficult Times Will Come”
1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. 6For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, 7always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The verses that have inspired me to write tonight are to be found in 2 Timothy 3:5-7: Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.…so many today find ‘power’ in many things that are not godly. In this era of the Internet, everyone writing is a self-proclaimed expert on this remedy or that formula. Mysticism has crept in to the church in various forms to the point people find themselves worrying about missing ‘this’ secret cure or ‘that’ key to why life is out of control. Many women are drawn in to this, and without discernment, the waters of godliness can quickly become murky. Are we sure we can determine what is a ‘form’ of godliness vs. true godliness? I can assure you of this, being convinced of something isn’t necessarily the way to tell, nor is having a ‘personal conviction’.
It was not long ago I asked my husband, who God has graciously given the gifts of wisdom and discernment to, about whether people can have false ‘personal convictions’. He seemed a tad surprised at my asking, immediately responding that yes, of course, and that is how most cults begin–a false personal conviction. That gave me pause, and made sense. We need God’s word to guide and direct us.
“weak women captivated, always learning but never coming to the knowledge of truth”…this is my loose paraphrase but it encompasses what I long to warn Christian women about. We are often weak minded. We are easily led astray. Psychological reasoning resonates with us and we justify sometimes questionable ideas because part of it may make good, common sense. We women often lack the logical side of thinking, and if we are extroverted, we do not deeply think enough, seeking the truth from God’s word. I’m not down on women: I am one and I’m raising two. But I see what the gentler sex struggles with and the older I get the pattern has not changed, especially with young women. I’m also not down on extroverts, but the reality is that introverts are the deeper thinkers among us. What appeals to us is often an exercise in futility. It is not men of homeschooling wives who spend hoards of hours pouring over various methods of education and various curricula for YEARS on end (and I mean literal years), debating, questioning, critiquing…it is women, and usually those that can talk for days about such things struggle to actually “come to the knowledge of the truth” on the matter. They can pontificate all day and all year long, but they cannot effectively execute educating their children.
This personality trait is a constant with other areas of life as well. It is a profound spinning of wheels and an overall sense of there being something out there that could be THE key. It is a way of thinking and looking at the world, which I’ve mainly seen women fall in to but men are by no means immune, where there is no true rest. Their is almost a paranoia and a general mistrust of ‘the establishment’…whatever the current craze is. It doesn’t really matter what the current obsession is, the personality trait is one that doubts, raises questions, and just is not effective at actually living life and being consistent. For those who are not discerning, these people can cause others to become like them–focusing on things that are not glorifying God, but cast doubt and cause too much worry over this temporal life. This notion is one reason I was careful about who I recommended certain alternative health treatment options to. A weak minded person can easily become too concerned over all the things there are to be allergic to. I had to fight it greatly and were it not for my husband, am certain I would have gone too far with it. It is not hard to lose sight of the fact this is a fallen world, we and our children will have disease, and while there may be a cure or remedy SOMEWHERE to be found, it simply may not be God’s will for us to find it or have it. There is a surrendering to His service that can only allow so much time to go in to our personal well-being. Is it any Christian’s calling to spend the majority of their personal time and/or energy studying something that is not directly related to spreading the gospel, discipling one’s children, or growing in holiness? I think that is something for us to each evaluate.
In closing, please be wise and careful with who you get advice from and who you spend a lot of time with. Sincerity and a sweet voice or disposition often draw women into another woman’s confidence, but those are not traits of godliness or wise sincerity. For a long time I thought they were, then I realized different people have different vocal chords, and southern people can naturally sound as adorable as the day is long. :) These things are no indication of holiness.
Thanks for reading,
an expert at very little if anything, humbled by how convicted I was about so many things as a 20 and 30 something….