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1 Timothy 4:1-15 (ESV)
Some Will Depart from the Faith
4 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
A Good Servant of Christ Jesus
6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.
How do you identify hypocrisy versus human imperfection?
We live in deceitful times. We witness the insincerity of unscrupulous liars whose consciences are seared. They spin words to give a false appearance of virtue while actually trying to trick others with their evil plans. People say they stand for something just to look good when in reality they have never given a penny of their money, a minute of their time to actually help the cause or a second thought about the people in need. We have leaders who give edicts for people to follow when they themselves have no intention to follow them. This type of behavior not only crushes peoples’ spirit but it creates division. The hypocrisy infuriates me. Our society needs You! Christians are often called hypocrites. When Christians judge others and demand behavior of others that they themself would not do, they are in fact hypocrites. Declaring Christian status for personal or political gain when their behavior is anything else but damages the reputation of Christians everywhere. Real Christians are not perfect. We all are sinners. Thank You that You accepted me and forgave my sins on that cross. Help me to accept, forgive, and serve others with humility. Let my behavior speak of my convictions and my faith be evident in my actions. Allow me to grow in the words of faith and good doctrine to strengthen my Christian walk and reduce sinful behavior. Help me not to demand things on others that are self-serving or that I would not do myself. Give me patience for others who are struggling and allow me to help not condemn. Train me in godliness to set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. Never let my words or deeds damage Your reputation but when I fail, help me to repent, learn from them, and restore any harm I have caused. Help my intentions to be pure, my behavior sincere and my actions reflect a good servant of Christ Jesus. Amen