In our course, “The Integration of Theology and Psychology,” Dr. Allan McKechnie andI have been discussing the doctrine of salvation and its implications for counselors who are Christians. One aspect of salvation is the continuing work of God the Holy Spirit in making us like Christ. This doctrine is called SANCTIFICATION. The word means “being set apart” or “being made holy.”
I believe I Timothy 4 presents us with ten very specific steps we may take to advance in our becoming like Christ. Let’s look at that passage and begin investigating those ten steps.
I Timothy 4 says,
7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
The FIRST STEP I see in this text is simply: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU AVOID (v. 7)
Verse 7 reads: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales . . .” Growing in grace and holiness involves choosing what we won’t give our attention to! Paul challenges TImothy not to give his attention to “godless myths” and “old wives’ tales.”
Now, the few women who might read my blog should not be upset by the 2nd expression. It is not meant in a misogynistic way. Paul is not anti-women. He is simply giving two examples of material that should not dominate the believer’s thinking, concentration, time. (to be continued)
1. What “godless myths” are you aware of which should be avoided?
2. Why should we avoid such myths and old wives’ tales?