Act Like It
2 Timothy 2:21 If anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy . . . ready for every good work.
When I first took call as a medical resident, I was terrified. Feelings of inadequacy, incompetence and terror all combined to create an unnerving experience. I wanted to be known as a physician, but I was not sure about the responsibility. I had some knowledge in my head and I was a doctor on paper but if I ever wanted to be a doctor in practice, I had to start acting like it.
This is akin to what Paul said in today’s passage. He spoke of a great house in which there were many vessels, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable (v. 20). He said we are all vessels and we get to choose for what we will be used. As Christians, when we fill ourselves with the dishonorable, that is what will flow out of us. If we desire to be honorable, to be used for every good work (v. 21), then we must start acting honorable.
I cannot fill myself with donuts and expect to be fit. I cannot fill my mind with smut and expect to be pure. I cannot indulge in my anger and expect to know peace. If I want to be honorable, then I must engage in honorable behavior. When I fill myself with the dishonorable, that is what I become. Being a Christian does not mean that I may consume garbage and ask that God magically transform it into treasure.
I must continually examine myself, turning from the dishonorable to the honorable. Like a garden, I do not weed just once and quit. If I want a productive garden, I must continually act like a gardener. This process lasts a lifetime.
I do not have to be perfect to be used by God, but I cannot continually indulge in my flesh nature and expect to escape its deadly effect. If I want to be a disciple, I must act like it.