2 Timothy 3:2-5 People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, abusive . . . without self-control . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness . . .
I despise fake. It drives me nuts. In treatment, I knew a guy . . .
When I read today’s passage, I immediately thought of several people to whom it pertained. I had multiple stories ready about other people who lived a life of hypocrisy, claiming faith, while pursuing self above all. I even got a little angry as I started to type out one such story.
I am profoundly intolerant of phoniness. In other people. I am apparently quite comfortable with it in myself. Though I am deeply offended when someone else makes a sham of following God, I have no problem doing this. I have been there. I have spoken the words, confessed the faith, and kept on following self. If I am honest, I still do this.
Paul’s words then, were a warning to me. When He spoke of those who have the appearance of godliness, I must look in the mirror. If the word of God is a double-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), then the first and deepest cut must be to my own soul and spirit. If I use this passage as a weapon, only to point at others, then I have indulged in the exact hypocrisy Paul exposed here.
The question I must ask, is, Am I a lover of self or a lover of God? Am I prideful, angry, without self-control, or greedy? Do I spend more time and effort pursuing or indulging in self than I do pursuing God?
Honesty and introspection are always difficult and painful, but I must always aim the word of God at myself first. What do I need to work on? How am I being fake? If I read passages like this and only see the defects of others, then I am the prideful, fake Christian of which Paul spoke.