Remember me telling you about the time a guy stopped by my family’s table at Chick-Fil-A and told us how touched he was that we stopped to pray before our meal?
Anytime there is any mention of the fact that people are always watching you, whether you realize it or not, I think of that day. I often think about how everything we did, after that prayer, either helped or hurt our witness. I thought of that whole scenario when I read 1 Timothy 4-5 last week.
(Note: When I looked back to find that old post to link to it, I realized that I included the same verse in that post that spoke to me in this particular Bible study. Think God’s trying to drill something into my head?)
photo credit barteverts on flickr
Scripture: “Watch your life and your doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” – 1 Timothy 4:16
Observation: Paul is writing to Timothy and giving him instructions for his ministry. Timothy had been sent to the church at Ephesus to instruct the believers there against the false teaching that was being spread.
Because Timothy was young, inexperienced, and teaching against lies that were being spread, I imagine he was being watched very closely by both believers and non-believers, alike.
Application: People are always watching, whether we realize it or not. Some are watching just waiting for us to mess up, just like they’re expecting, in order to confirm their negative beliefs and impressions about Christians.
Some are watching out of curiosity, wondering if there really is anything to all this Christianity stuff. Sill others are watching, looking for a model for their own lives and faiths.
Whichever one of these three happens to be watching at any given moment, my responsibility is great. I am either turning someone off my faith, planting seeds, or affecting the growth of faith that has been sown by someone else.
Of course, I always hope that it is the latter of the two options. If I am conscious to be watching my life and doctrine closely, I stand a better chance of it being one of those last two options, which can lead to a saving relationship (or a deepening of that relationship) with Christ for both myself and those watching me.
Prayer: Father God, I pray that Your Holy Spirit would constantly guide me in my life and doctrine so that I honor You and Your gift of salvation, which You have freely given, and so that Your Name will be honored in the eyes of those who are watching me. Amen.
What is God showing you this week?