Do you ever get stuck wondering, “What are the important things? What lifestyle should I be living? What practices are ok, and which are a hindrance?”
I do all the time. It feels like a swirl, trying to be good and do good and serve God. It can be overwhelming. Let’s look at scripture to see what He has to say…
Some people may contradict our teaching, but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. These teachings promote a godly life. 1 Timothy 6:3
When I read this, I noticed that good teachings about good practices will promote a godly life. Again, we look to the fruit. Is there a practice that is widely acceptable in Christian circles, but you feel a tug not to do it…and feel it draws you away from God? Then I would reckon that behavior isn’t for you. It’s ok to be different. It’s ok to value godliness. It’s ok to have a different perspective of things. God made us individuals. The day to day of godly life for me may look a little different than it does for you. We are to live by our convictions.
Certain things are the same for everyone, but a lot of things are personalized.
Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven…this is the same for everyone.
I can’t listen to secular music…that’s for me. I recognize that it affects my spirit deeply. Others don’t feel that way at all and simply enjoy it.
You see the difference?
That’s only one example…but I hope you get the picture. We shouldn’t do things that lead to ungodliness in our lives. That’s pretty simple.
The next portion of 1 Timothy really rocked my heart and reminded me that people are the same now, as they were way back then…
Anyone who teaches something different is arrogant and lacks understanding. Such a person has an unhealthy desire to quibble over the meaning of words. This stirs up arguments ending in jealousy, division, slander, and evil suspicions. These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy. Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 1 Timothy 6:4-6
There have always been those who use Christianity as a tool for self-promotion and there will always be people like that. This is not new. We should be aware and always remain under submission to Holy Spirit and educate ourselves through daily scripture reading, prayer, and worship so we are not led astray by one of them. You may be shocked to find out just how many people have simply turned to Christianity through preaching, singing, and many other things…as simply a job. It was never meant to simply be a job. A means to your end. That’s missing the whole thing.
It’s all about Jesus.
Oh Lord, make us aware of anytime I have prostituted Your gospel for my gain. Forgive me, Lord. I want to serve You with a pure heart. Lead me to others who also seek to live from a pure heart and protect me against all the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Protect me from those who simply want to be famous by using Your name and the talents You’ve given them. I want to be holy and wholly Yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.