Awake & Alive: 1 Timothy Reading Plan

Day 26

1 Timothy 6:2(b)-5

2bTeach and urge these things. 3If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 1 Timothy 6:2(b)-5

Depending on the English translation used, the second half of verse 2 may actually be the beginning of verse 3. This is a great reminder that verse numbers and delineations are human constructions added much later, and the original text flowed more continuously.

Paul turns his attention back to the false teachers, offering sobering insight into what happens when one misinterprets and misrepresents the Bible. The first consequence is pride. This arrogance blinds one to truth and consumes them with a need for controversy. This concept is particularly important because it reminds believers that true trust in Jesus should lead to a content and restful life anchored in him, not a constant need to argue and justify every detail.

As one lives with the sickness birthed from pride, Paul explores the perilous consequences of this condition. Relationships become difficult, contentment impossible, and life becomes self-centered. None of these pursuits ever satisfy, and life becomes an endless, exhausting chase. According to Paul, this pursuit even infiltrates the way one views faith and God’s call. These become tools for personal gain, which may be monetary or simply self-promotion, though most scholars believe it’s a combination.