1 Timothy: The Goal of Correction

There are so many things that I could talk about from 1 Timothy. But there is one thing that stands out to me right now.

In the opening verses, Paul tells Timothy:

3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.

Timothy is to combat against false doctrine (different doctrine) and correct the Ephesian Christians in their tendency toward speculating about spiritual things. Paul’s hope is that they will become rock solid in their faith, stewarding it well throughout all of life’s challenges.

When I read about the need for correcting false doctrine and speculation, I am reminded of those who make it their goal to “call out” anyone who does not agree with them on every point of doctrine. You probably know about Christian leaders like this. They seem to always be putting someone else down or criticizing someone for a belief in some non-central area of doctrine.

In other words, they often seem unloving.

But Paul does not stop after telling Timothy to correct false teaching. He then says:

5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Paul does not command Timothy to call out false teaching simply because it is false. He does not call for theological witch hunting. He tells Timothy that this call to correct mythology and false doctrine is some that we must do with love. The point is not to shame anyone. It is to show them the beauty of the true God. The goal of correction is love that flows from true and lasting faith.

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