Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Withdraw Thyself

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 
4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 
5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
1 Timothy 6:3-5

Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from a situation, a relationship, an influence, in order to maintain godliness in our lives.  These choices are not usually easy, but they are necessary and I have found the result to bring peace and relief.

I love to blog.  I love to read other blogs.  I have a few old standbys which I frequent often, and I am always on the lookout for a new blog to add to my favorite list.  But recently I have had to remove several blogs from my reader.  I found that the organizing blogger was actually feeding discontent as I compared my rented home to her beautifully renovated and redecorated space.  I found that the mommy blogger who claimed to be a Christian was writing about parenting without filtering it through God’s Word.  Her ideas on child rearing and discipline were in complete opposition to God’s Word.  To continue to read the blog will only cause me internal confusion and perhaps even lead to doubting or questioning God’s Word.

I have several friends who have left social media sites.  They were tired of professing Christians posting pictures, activities, and links to movies which clearly do not honor God.  To continue to read these status updates each day fills the mind with wrong thoughts….things we should never be meditating upon in the first place.

I love a good book…especially a novel.  But I found that too many romance novels {especially in high school and college…before I was married} were giving me a false idea of “Mr. Right.”  Because contrary to all of those “great books” – he is not perfect!  To continue to flood my mind with perfect love stories was giving me false expectations for my own love story – which I wanted God to be writing.

In these verse in 1 Timothy Paul tells Timothy that sometimes you have to withdraw thyself.  Get away.  Break the relationship.  Stop the influx of ungodly material.  Step apart so that God can continue to work in your life. 

Sometimes it may be a temporary withdraw, though I don’t think that is the tone Paul is using here.  I have at times felt the need to “unplug” myself for a while so I get priorities back on track.  Take a TV “fast” or a Facebook vacation.  Stop the constant stream of the world’s view and listen to what God has been trying to speak all along.

Sometimes the withdraw may need to be more permanent.  When I found friends to be consistent in living contrary to the God they claimed to love, I had to choose to “unfriend” them on Facebook so as not to see their constant stream of ungodly activity.  God wants us to love others and to encourage them to godliness, but if they are going to consistently choose to live in opposition to God’s principles, then perhaps a break in that relationship is necessary {or at least a break from constant influence}.

These hard choices are right in line with God’s Word – when someone is teaching anti-Biblical things, or even just ignoring God’s doctrine {teaching} – withdraw thyself (vs.3).

If someone is proud and causing constant strife – withdraw thyself (vs.4).

If it is the influence of an unbeliever – someone destitute of God’s truth, greedy, worldly, or corrupt – withdraw thyself (vs.5).

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…”  2 Corinthians 6:17

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