Athlete, Watch What You Say and Do
1 Timothy 4:16 (NIV)
Watch your life and doctrine closely.
We all love to watch a good ball game or good movie. Deep drama and great stories grab us but good. They make us tune in, lock in, settle in. Terrific camera angles enhance the experience for sure. Seen anything good lately?
For all that we love to watch, the Bible says that two things need consistent, diligent attention: watching our LIFE and our DOCTRINE. Those two camera angles need regular play, consistent use.
They help us make the right call. They evaluate from the best perspective. That’s what God says.
When the Scripture here refers to watching our life and doctrine, what does this mean? How do we do this? And why is it important to view everything through those two lenses?
WATCHING YOUR LIFE: This camera angle pulls us away from using our own lens and helps us to see ourselves through the camera lens of others, especially the eyes of God. We are to observe our lives outside ourselves. Asking God and asking trusted, godly others to help us see ourselves is the goal.
They can help us see our blind spots. And their experience of us can be more accurate than our experience of ourselves. When we do this, we so often get the best camera angle to make the right self-awareness call. Without others, death or destruction or both lie closer to us than we think (See Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25).
WATCHING YOUR DOCTRINE: Multiple camera angles are needed here. Split screen viewing must be employed. One camera reveals what we functionally believe. It identifies what we really believe and records where we actually put our weight.
Another camera angle shows the gap between what we say we believe and actually how we live. And a third angle shows us what God says we should believe, what the truth really is.
Watching our doctrine means using all three camera angles to make the right call in life, always aligning the first two angles to the third so there are no discrepancies or hypocrisies, just complete alignment and harmony.
Watching our life and doctrine closely works best when the Word of God and the Spirit of God become the cameramen. The Word and the Spirit enable us to see ourselves and others as we ought (See Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 4:12, John 16:13). Apart from them we can’t consistently make the right calls in life regarding just about anything.
So let’s watch our lives and doctrine closely by using all the best camera angles. The Word and the Spirit along with godly others will produce this. Let’s commit to viewing life this way every day.
Reflect: What are the primary sources driving how you live life? Do they furnish wise, trusted, and true camera angles? Where are your biggest doctrinal gaps between what you profess and what you practice?
Who are the significant others who help you evaluate your life and doctrine? When did you last connect?
A prayer to consider: O Heavenly Father, I want to watch my life and doctrine closely, to view it all well. I don’t wanna blow calls and have death and destruction knocking at my doorstep. I would be like Jesus, the One who never could be beaten.
Show me the best way to do this day after day. Close the gap between what I say I believe and how I really live.
Help me to get great camera angles to make the right call. That must include daily input from your Word and your Spirit’s coaching.
Lead me to godly others too. Get me into these grooves. Encourage my heart. Lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24): Toward Jesus in me and my joy in Him, I pray. Amen.