With much the same content, Paul writes this letter to Timothy with words of encouragement and instruction. Like he wrote to Titus we read about the instructions given to build and maintain a church and its leaders. Paul sets out to warn Timothy of the false teachers that are trying to draw people away from the truth of the gospel message, a similar yet different setting that shows us the widespread problem of disobedience to God.
Today, as I read through 1 Timothy, my focus was drawn to Paul’s charge to Timothy in Chapter 6:13, a charge that called him to live a life of integrity among a people and culture that practiced otherwise. Like any one of us Timothy was only human, he struggled with the pull of settling into the surrounding culture that could take the easier road. Paul’s charge to Timothy was to stand strong and live and act counter to what the culture was practicing, he was to be the counter-cultural model of a leader for the sake of advancing the gospel message. Timothy in his own strength could not accomplish this quest of true integrity on his own, he had men like Paul and others who walked beside him keeping him accountable to his faith and trust in God.
“Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (6:11).
Can you step outside the front door of your church and walk through your neighborhood and confidently say that each person is pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness? I know I can’t, my hope is that I can come across at least one or two that are striving toward that end. I think we should be asking these questions: Can our neighbors see us pursuing these things? Is the church a living example of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness in a culture that demands much less?