You want me to keep an eye on who? On YOU!

Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
From: 1 Tim. 4.16a Keep a close watch on yourself

Self, is a monster. The remnants of indwelling sin in the believer are the seeds
of every kind of vile abomination. Failure to reckon with how virulent sin still is
within us, is a costly and oft-times tragic mistake. 1 Thessalonians 5.22 is often
cited as though it is an admonition to avoid things that look like sin. In fact, it
more properly refers to being careful to avoid any of the various forms sin
makes its appearance in. Or, to avoid sin wherever, whenever and however it
erupts. And make no mistake, it will erupt. It is always seeking an opportunity to
rise to the ascendancy within us. It is relentless, clever, ruthless and perennial.
The most well seasoned of saints among us can uniformly testify to the
aggravations of a sin long ago thought to be triumphed over – when one least
expects it. We dare never trust our own hearts. Yes, the new principle of
holiness is now within us, and yes we are being transformed day by day – but
we must not confuse that with sin actually diminishing. In that sense, it never
does. Not until we shed these bodies in death, or at translated at Christ’s return.
We die to it – to the power of its influence – but sin itself remains. While its
authority has been unseated and the right to overcome it granted, like a
wounded serpent it seeks to strike out in its anger and rebellion. And not the
least of our care about it, beyond being keenly aware and ever vigilant, is also
the need to be aware of the way we can convince ourselves of allowing
substitutes for true holiness and the subduing of sin. Orthodoxy for instance is
one deception we can allow ourselves. We imagine that as long as we hold the
line on sound doctrine and both believe it and can articulate it, that the attitudes
of the heart and mind are really a secondary issue. This of course became the
very problem the Ephesian Church is cited for in Revelation 2. Warriors for
truth, who had lost their first love – whose hearts had grown hard and cold in
the midst of being champions of orthodoxy. Many a great man and ministry has
gone by the wayside, not because they abandoned the truth, but were lured into
imagining that if they preached, taught and defended it – that was enough.
Timothy was in Ephesus when he received this note. And we do well to take it to
heart ourselves. Beloved, “keep a close watch on yourself.”


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