I Timothy 4:16 Watch your life and your doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
In our current church culture, I see grace and acceptance being taught more and more. I believe that Jesus was more accepting of people than most of us give him credit for. Therefore, I think the grace teachings are needed badly in our society.
However, in our shift to teach a doctrine of grace, I believe we have allowed quite a bit of relativism into our Christian world. The above passage is a reminder that I, as a Christian must continue to watch my life and doctrine closely. I can offer and extend grace to those around me, but I need to make sure that I do not sacrifice my life and doctrine in order to draw people closer to Jesus. If I lose my base and beliefs, I have done the people around me a great disservice.
I hear the somewhat cliché phrase of, “If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk” (or some variance of that) quite often. I believe that this passage reinforces with that phrase. Is my life lining up with what I teach? If I am asking my children to live a life of godly character, am I doing the same? Or am I saying, “Do as I say, not as I do”? I need to make sure I am living what I teach.
The passage tells me that I need to be aware of my life and doctrine, remind myself of what that means, and watch myself and see if I am living it out. Furthermore, I need to persevere in that way of living my life. Sometimes watching my life and doctrine in this current culture becomes discouraging. I have to persevere through that discouragement so that I may keep myself in check. And notice what the passage says about others. This may be the most burdensome or sobering part of living the talk. I will not only save myself, but others by living a life of godliness. Wow!
Furthermore, in this recent Christian culture of grace, remember, that in order for someone to understand grace and realize that he/she needs it we have to give them something to compare their life. If we live our life and doctrine in the right way, a person will see our lives and see the difference.
“Watch your life and your doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
1. What is Paul saying to Timothy about watching his life and doctrine closely?
2. What is your life and doctrine?
3. Spend time in prayer this week asking Jesus to point out to you where you may not have been watching your life and doctrine and/or not persevering in them.
4. Spend some time over the next few days jotting down what you believe and what your life and doctrine is.
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