1 Timothy 1:3,5—As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, continue to remain at Ephesus so that you might command some to teach no other doctrine . . . Now the goal of this command is love from a pure heart, and from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. (Modern English Version)
The word, “command” in verses three and five is a military term which means “to give strict orders.”
It emphasizes that the commanding should be done authoritatively. Paul is empowering Timothy to take firm action against Jews or Jewish Christians who taught the Mosaic law as well as Jewish myths and genealogies. Thirteen times in his letter to Timothy, Paul uses this word command. From different parts of his letter we learn that false teachers were also hypocritically lying, forbidding marriage and demanding abstinence from foods God had authorized. Imagine the confusion and harm they were causing the young church. But what really caught my attention was Paul’s instruction to Timothy in verse five that the goal in commanding came from love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.
Consider what a difference it would make if leaders, before they issued orders, did so from a foundation of love. This would prevent selfishness and hidden agendas. If orders came from a clear conscience they would be reputable and sound in content with no fear of improper second or third order effects. Finally, if the orders came from sincere faith, they would ultimately conform to God’s will and bring Him glory. Notice that love from a pure heart, good conscience, and sincere faith all originate from what is insidea leader.
Paul created for Timothy, and for us, a profound litmus test for the application of proper authority. Strong leaders give appropriate commands that come from a secure foundation of love. The example of this is seen in the life of Jesus. Not once did He ever give a weak, mistaken, misguided or poorly-timed order to His followers or to His listeners. His commands were always in keeping with the mission His Father gave Him and flowed from His awesome reservoir of love. They were always pure and when followed the results were applauded by heaven. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader.—General Eric Shinseki
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Fritz Rienecker/Cleon Rogers in Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, (Regency Reference Library: Michigan © 1980,