Oh my did it again, my ADD kicked in and I didn’t follow up on my ‘to be continued’ from the journey to Brechin High School Assembly, so will try to complete that before I return to my USA adventures.
I left off with (http://www.brechinadvertiser.co.uk/news/thought-for-the-week-1-3267722 if you need a reminder.) the text in 1 Timothy 4:12-13, 15: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine... Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.”
The thought of giving attention to these things, word, conduct, love, spirit, faith and purity looks a bit daunting on the face of it. But as Paul goes on to explain that learning to do these things comes about as we do reading, listen to exhortation and learn doctrine it becomes a realisation that I don’t have to do it in one massive chunk, I can do it a bit at a time. It is that whole ‘how do you eat an elephant?’ answer: One bite at a time. And so it is with learning to be an example in the various areas of our lives. We learn one step at a time.
Reading is massive in my mind. I know a lot of folk say ‘I don’t like to read’ but they do it way more perhaps than they realise. I always remember hearing: “The person you are five years from now will be determined by the books you read and the people you meet.”
And as I live my life I’d like to think this is true for me.
Exhortation is a bit of an interesting one, this is the idea to my mind of listening to others thoughts and ideas and in some cases being motivated by them. They along with my reading shape who I am and who I am becoming. But there is also a warning in this learning that we have to be careful that we don’t just automatically act on what we are exhorted to do. But that we take time to think through these bits of knowledge and learning to find what is the best course of action.
Doctrine is teaching, it is the actual knowledge that we absorb and digest. It is the meat of what we believe and act on. What we believe shapes and moulds how we behave, how we live, it is what defines our morality and integrity.
Which brings us to ‘meditate’, that stop and think about it moment, as the text says, give yourself to it and prove it makes a difference. Hopefully at the end of the day while folk will realize I’m not perfect they will see that I am growing in a right direction.
OK, that’s my work cut out for me, how about you
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship