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Foolish Ramblings

1 Timothy 6:20 Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness.

Have you ever been around someone who talked "just to hear themselves talk?" I am always amazed at how much our brains will feed to us if we open ourselves up to it. Sometimes I have found myself being one of those people and I have attempted to follow the scripture "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger" which is found in James 1:19. I always thought that this verse was to be understood in succession, as one thing leads to another. But I noticed in the very next verse Paul tells Timothy that human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires, so that part of the verse definitely stands alone. As I go back to the 1 Timothy 6 verses I can see Paul as a father of the faith saying to his son in the faith, Timothy, that he was going to have to deal with some words that would hit him hard and his reaction was important. James alerts us to the importance of reacting as God would want and being measured in our response to it.

Foolish Ramblings happen to all of us and just when we think we have got it under control, we get blindsided and we have to react. Paul told Timothy to "guard" what God had entrusted to him. Timothy was needing to avoid discussions that were godless and foolish at all costs. It might do all of us good if we would take this advice and filter out such talk and keep the purity of Godly conversations as our goal. Apparently, there were factions who were opposing Timothy, and Paul was trying to encourage him to "hold the course" and be measured in how he met those people by listening and not speaking too quickly, and definitely not getting angry.

What is the standing of those who are speaking these foolish ramblings? They are sinning at the highest level and Timothy is their target, kind of.....The real target is the gospel of Jesus Christ. They did not follow Jesus fully and their ramblings were birthed from a half-hearted attempt at following The Way. In verse 21 Paul tells Timothy the following words 21 Some people have wandered from the faith by following such foolishness. The end result of the sin of these "gossipers" is some fell away from the faith. If this was done in our modern-day world we would see someone with a half-truth crucifying someone they didn't like or agree with on Facebook or some other social platform and making that half-truth sound real. The sin of even speaking those half-truths would eventually discredit the fellowship and cause irreparable harm to their fellowship. Paul was wanting Timothy to react in a righteous way that would honor God and let those sinners live with their sin and the result of that sin.

Paul had a very clear understanding of what it was like to be attacked because he was sharing the "true" message of Jesus in a group of half-truth followers, who were really not followers at all. Their lack of spirituality was causing damage to the mission and Timothy was getting hit from all sides by wrongly-motivated rich people (Verse 17) and political factions, which Paul addressed when writing to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15, for now, no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16 (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) 17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.

Paul was totally aware of the effect of Foolish Ramblings and wanted Timothy to react in a Godly manner and keep the main thing the main thing. I love Paul for writing this and his purity of heart for the gospel and its presentation is consistently seen throughout. What a great example of Godliness and righteousness in the face of worldliness and adversity. Of course, Paul got killed for that very thing, but for him, he said, "To live is Christ and to die is gain!" When Paul writes something about foolish ramblings, I think it is important that we listen and learn.

Gossip and personal innuendos will always be a part of the Christian life, but we can choose how to react to them as Timothy and Paul had to do. Remember, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Live today while it is still today and keep your focus on the main thing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everything else is just "foolishness!" Paul ends his instructions with these words in 1 Timothy 6:1 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.12 Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.13 And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate,14 that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

Keep on fighting the good fight and ignore the Foolish Ramblings of ungodly people and God will work it all out for the good of the called.

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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