Athlete, Examine Your North Star
1 Timothy 1:5-6 (NIV)
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk.
Let’s face it … We can get influenced, deceived, lost more easily than we think, buried in meaningless talk about things that don’t matter or don’t make sense. Without a good moral compass, we can all go adrift and end up way farther off course than we could have imagined.
That’s why beloved TNT sports broadcaster Ernie Johnson’s wife Cheryl gave him an engraved pocket compass. Cheryl wanted EJ to carry it as an anniversary keepsake, celebrating the day he “found his way.” It serves as a daily pocket reminder of Who he belongs to and what life’s North Star really is.
Life’s true North Star is Jesus. Getting truly on track in life comes through following Him. This awareness and commitment to “marry” Him makes all the difference in the world.
And that’s why 1 Timothy 1:6 was written. It points out that love, purity, conscience, and faith can easily become lost, that serious spiritual drift can happen if we’re not careful. Without Jesus, without His Spirit and His Word lodged and active in us, we will wander, lost without a Compass.
Here are the telltale signs that we are adrift:
LOVE DIMS. Without a North Star holding us to course, love will dim, its light will leave, our hearts will shrink, and indifference will rise. Without a North Star, love gets cheapened and we become cynical.
Love for Jesus, however, turns up the lights on life and flames of love. It brings us back to sweet devotion to all that’s good and right. A good North Star brightens and builds real love.
PURITY DISSIPATES. Without a North Star beaming light, our penchant for purity begins to dry up. We feel hopelessness, the despair of a worthless pursuit. Moral compromise seems to be our only option.
“Good enough” becomes the default instead of greatness. North Star living in Christ, however, helps us see what’s pure and right in very clear terms. What’s wise and best becomes very 20/20.
CONSCIENCE DULLS. Without a North Star bringing direction, our conscience batteries run down fast. We don’t morally or relationally feel.
Our sense of right and wrong gets anesthetized and people become objects. Good darkens and dies.
North Star living in Christ, however, cultivates conscience. It resuscitates life. It helps our thoughts govern our feelings instead of the other way around. Our consciences won’t get dull and dangerously lose their edge if our compass stays in play.
FAITH DIES. Without a North Star, faith surrenders. It has little to fight for and so it wanders off, disappears and dies. It gives up on God and truth.
Hopes for future good, certainty of forgiveness, and the death of Life’s two-headed monster, Guilt and Shame, get consistently dashed.
North Star living through Christ, however, breathes life into belief. It inspires faith. It furnishes reasons for faith.
TALK DUMBS. Without a North Star, we go shallow with our conversations. We drift into talking about things that don’t matter way more than we talk about things that do.
Having a North Star changes the chat. Eternal values find their way into the discourse and love, purity, good conscience and faith get plenty of playing time.
Reflect: What/Who is your true North Star? Have you wandered away and let your love dim, purity dissipate, conscience dull, faith die, or talk dumb down?
Which of these five areas needs a strong North Star (re)orientation?
A prayer to consider: LORD Jesus, be my holy Compass, Guide, and North Star. May love for You beautifully command and direct me. Keep my heart pure, conscience clear, faith robust, and words edifying.
I want no wandering in life, no drifting from You. By the power of Your Spirit accomplish this daily in me for Your great glory and my joy. Amen.