Tough Love Is Holding Myself Accountable
Paul loved Timothy as a son. In fact he calls him his “son in the gospel.” As a father he is concerned that Timothy does well. Paul had given Timothy the great responsibility of leading the church at Ephesus and being a concerned father in one place he instructed Timothy to carefully watch his life so that those who are older do not despise his youth. In this passage Paul is teaching Timothy to hold himself accountable to the gifts of ministry and responsibility that he had been given.
We often think of tough love as the love which holds others accountable, but tough love begins with ourselves. Do we love the other in our life enough to commit ourselves to accountability? Are we willing to guard our thoughts and examine them often to see if we are developing patterns of thinking that will affect the way we treat others? Paul warns Timothy to turn away from godless chatter and faulty arguments.
The Message has a great way of presenting this passage; “And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.”
Hold yourself accountable in your words and your thoughts. That’s a tough job that only you can do.
Prayer: Lord, I like to argue the fine points that sometimes get to the place of splitting hairs over inconsequential issues. Forgive me of that and grant me the grace to focus only on the truly important issues of the faith. Amen.
Message: Tough love begins with ourselves. Do we love the other in our life enough to commit ourselves to accountability? Are we willing to guard our thoughts and examine them often to see if we are developing patterns of thinking that will affect the way we treat others?
Affirmation: I hold myself accountable to God and responsible spiritual leaders so that my thoughts and actions do not contradict what I speak.
Reflection: Does God’s love truly move us to accountability? What do you think the Message meant by, “Avoid the talk-show religion?” Give some thought to some signs that you might be avoiding accountability.
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