Today’s bible study is 2 Timothy 3:1-5: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive and disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unforgiving and slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash and conceited, lovers of pleasure; do we not see a bit of ourselves and others we know in these words? Oh, how weak we human beings can be. Without trying very hard, we could probably connect each of these adjectives to someone we know very well and someone very close to us.
But, as onerous as these characteristics may be, they are all tiny pieces of the great mosaic that functions as a whole to form our personality as men and women. They are not necessarily good or even truthful pieces, yet they are there. They are woven into us right along with caring, loving, forgiving, gentleness, compassion, mercy, honesty, and all the traits of Godliness that make each of us who we are.
But none of these things, and this I the crucial point of this passage, necessarily needs to make us ungodly. We can believe in God, have a meaningful spiritual relationship with God, commune with God, and speak to Him through silent moments of meditation. We can worship God and sing His praises, not because we are sinful and weak, but in spite of it.
We do not have to completely deny any negative emotions. We do not have to stop taking pride in our appearances or give up our earning power. But we do have to admit to our weaknesses and pray to God for forgiveness. We must recognize, at all times and in every way, that there is a higher power and a higher calling and a higher duty. This we cannot deny. And, through the grace of God, we can become the people that He would want us to be: True followers of Jesus Christ and true sons and daughters or the Father.
Timothy cautions us to have nothing to do with such people, yet we encounter them every day of our lives. They may be our next door neighbors, coworkers, relatives or customers. We may be called upon to care for them, teach them, counsel them or provide services for them. As we do so, we cannot criticize them harshly and create hurt and anger, but we can let them see the love and grace of the Holy Spirit within us and surrounding us. We can show them that there is a far better way, and that Jesus Christ can show us that way. We are all beloved children of our Almighty Father and we all have the capacity to show His loving kindness to all people.