Friendly but…

Tonight I was reading I timothy, I must confess it has been to long since I have devoted time to God’s word. I am taking my time to absorb it this time as opposed to my competitive eating style. I began in I Timothy but stumbled and had to take some time on v. 5.

3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work–which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

I realize of course that all to often we have been taught that we must have proper doctrine or orthodoxy (which means right belief) but in working so hard to have all of your theological ducks in a row we neglect orthopraxy (which means right living). Apparently it wasn’t so different in Ephesus where Timothy was left behind to defend solid doctrine but to end of love, or proper living. Paul obviously seems to see this as the point of faith (I Cor. 13).

Someone on a Internet board I run once made what I believed to be a very profound statement, she said “Christians are good at being friendly but not good at being friends.” It took me a moment to think about that and realize how deeply those words rang true. So often I have gone to churches for years, and seen people every week only to give them the obligatory greeting, exchange small pleasantries but move on and never really build a bond.

It may be true that it is difficult to create a good friendship I have very few true friends, people who would call me out on stupid actions because they care more about me than they do about my approval. But if we are to really show the love of Christ shouldn’t something be different? Shouldn’t we walk more in love, not the Ned Flanders stupid kind of love but a real concern for the eternal well being of one another?


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