5,6 "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."
1 Timothy 1:5,6 (NIV)
Let's face it ... We can be more easily influenced and deceived than we think. Without a good moral compass, we can all go adrift and end up farther off course than we ever imagined.
That's why beloved TNT broadcaster Ernie Johnson's wife gave him a pocket compass a decade ago. Cheryl wanted EJ to carry it as an anniversary keepsake, celebrating the day he “found his way,” getting his life truly on track through following Jesus. That commitment, that surrender, has made all the difference. The compass now serves as a symbolic spiritual monitor to keep him on track.
And that's why 1 Timothy 1:6 was written, to keep us all on track. It reminds us that love, purity, conscience and faith are always under attack, and that serious spiritual drift can happen if we're not careful.
When we do our daily lives without Jesus, without His Spirit and His Word in us, we will wander. And breakdown is inevitable. Here are the telltale signs:
DRIFTING FROM LOVE: When love leaves us, the light dims, indifference rises and our hearts shrink. Love commands us back to proper obedience to all that's good and right. Love sees us through.
DOWNSIZING PURITY: When keeping it real becomes more important than pursuing purity, we can wander more than we think. Purehearted living keeps us seeing as we ought.
DOWNPLAYING CONSCIENCE: When feelings trump thoughts, conscience dies. Cultivate a clear conscience. A good conscience sees well.
DUMPING FAITH: When faith in God gets replaced by an attitude that says, “God, You owe me something,” we lose our way. Only sincere faith keeps us following well.
TALKING TRASH: Meaningless talk is more of a diversion than we think. It keeps us from getting to things that really matter. Be an expert in talking about what really counts. Insert it in your daily conversations. Preach substance over style.
We’ve gotta give love, purity, conscience, faith and substance plenty of playing time in our lives. When we do, we'll avoid dangerous drift in life.
A suggested prayer: LORD, let love for You beautifully command me. Keep my heart pure, conscience clear and full of sincere faith. Give me edifying words for others. Be my holy compass and guide. I want no wandering in life, no drifting from You.