There are many things that take a long time to learn. Some of those things you can learn fully, and move into a status of “having learned” them. For example – I learned long ago that “2 + 2 = 4”. Now that I know this as fact, the next time it comes up in my life I have very little trouble recalling, and living according to that knowledge.
But many things do not work this way. For example, I’ve learned the English language, and am even a fluent native English speaker. But as autocorrect and Grammarly might tell you – I need assistance every once in a while. I misplace a comma, or worse – use the wrong version of “your” when typing quickly. I even learned to walk about 37 years ago, but you’d be surprised at my lack of expertise during any given number of stumbles. You may scoff proudly at my humiliations, but my guess is there are things you “learned” long ago, and yet are still perfecting daily.
This past week’s Bible readings included Paul’s warnings to Timothy from 2 Timothy chapter 3. Particularly the section with verse 7, telling Tim not to be involved with people who worm their way into homes and lead people to become,
“..always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Oh, snap. That pretty much describes our entire crowd-sourced collection of all things happening constantly online, doesn’t it? That we can spend all of our time with sources of learning that have entered our homes (books, blogs, podcasts, TedTalks, live news, etc.), and yet never come to a knowledge of the truth.
As missionaries – there is the same risk/temptation. There are so many things we want to be involved in sharing. We want to learn Hungarian language (another endless task) and culture. We want to help share how Jesus shapes our lives and our home. We want to join our local church family for worship, and figure out how to grow the Kingdom here and globally. But it’s possible we could be incredibly busy, and missing the truth.
So what was the “truth” Paul feels is so important to Timothy?
It’s found in 2 Timothy 2:8-10. Jesus Christ, resurrected – and that we look forward to sharing in His resurrection life (both now as New Creations, and someday fully resurrected within New Creation). In verse 18 he mentions those who have departed from the truth by teaching that the resurrection has already taken place. In verse 25 he tells Timothy that knowledge of the truth comes by the grace of God granting us repentance – turning away from the things that are not truth.
May we remember these things today and this week. Even if it means you don’t come to read our blog/updates as often. There are endless supplies of books, blogs, shows, revival services, worship concerts, festivals, training, conferences, podcasts, etc… Some of them are very good and genuinely helpful. Some of them are perpetuating cycles of profit-making. Many are inadvertently both – due to the broken systems & economies of this world. None of them are Jesus – the only actual source of living truth and life/love that brings transformation.
May we be careful & purposeful to live, and to lead others in the resurrected living Word of God…