Consider the Outcome (1 Timothy 1)
“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith…some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk” (1 Timothy 1:5-6)
We ought to always be asking ourselves, “What is the end result? What is the fruit being produced?” By doing this, we can formulate a true assessment of anything we encounter in our lives as Christians. If we are pursuing physical health, we will analyze calories, ingredients, fat content, etc., in the foods we eat. If we are pursuing a godly life and the general health of the body of Christ, how much more should we consider whether what we do, what we teach, what we embrace, is yielding an end result of spiritual health? What is the nutritional value? Does it carry the seed of the Word of God that nourishes souls? Or, does it excite our minds but only cause speculations, which then result in conflict with others who don’t speculate like me?
There are many debates within the church that excite our minds, yet continue to bear the distasteful fruit of dispute. Even when we see the idle nature of these debates and the fruit of dissention cropping up, we justify it in our hearts, because the topic of our debate really is very important: it is God’s Word! However, our approach can be a pursuit of knowledge for our own purposes or stances, rather than a pursuit of life, gratefully received and generously shared with others. With debates about worship music style, debates about baptism, tithing, Calvinism vs. Arminianism, what if we stopped amassing a list of verses and sharpening them against our opponent, who is also our brother or sister? What if we sought to find the life-giving content of the Word of God, and share with others what God has shared with us?
The Virtue of Quietness (1 Timothy 2)
The fact that the word “quietness” in 1 Timothy chapter 2 may be seen as a negative thing in our day says a lot about our modern addiction to noise, quarrelling, and distraction.
If I asked, “Who is exhorted in this chapter to be in ‘quietness’?” many would say “women,” and jump right to verse 11. That is our first problem. If we read larger portions of scripture and cease from amputating verses, we find a thread of quietness throughout this chapter that applies to all believers, including the men. This thread begins in verse 2, where Paul gives the reason why we should pray for all men, especially authorities: “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:2). Is there someone somewhere disturbing your peace? Are there evil leaders threatening to make things challenging in society for the sincere, godly believer? The Holy Spirit through Paul tells us to take the quiet route. Don’t start shouting in the streets about the corrupt leaders. Don’t go verbally blasting those who get in your way. The Lord says, quietly pray for that person you feel like condemning. Pray for God to influence their heart. This will prove much more effective, if you are seeking a quiet and peaceful life in Christ.
The same exact Greek used to refer to a “quiet” life is found in verses 11 and 12 to exhort women to “quietly” receive instruction. The common thread here is submission to God-given authority. If God made men the head of the family, then there is a blessing that comes when a wife falls under that leadership. If men are accountable to governmental authorities, then there is a blessing that comes when they choose not to rail against them, but to prayerfully respect them. It is not just women but the whole body of Christ who ought to value and pursue the virtue of quietness.
The Rock Church