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1st Timothy 1:5 “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” NASB
I have the privilege of working with the School of the Bible here at YWAM. It is an 11 month long bible school, where the students not only learn to study the bible, they also learn to apply it practically in their own lives, and how to teach it to others. We have just started prepping for the next school, which starts at the end of the month.
It’s an exciting time of year, crazy-busy and more than a little bit chaotic sometimes, with all of us trying to connect the dots, check off the checklists, and generally get everything organized for the year ahead. And, of course, the anticipation of meeting the students who we have already been praying for, in many cases for months.
You may say, “oh, that’s nice. You tell people about God and how to study the bible.” Yes, I do. But that is just the beginning. If the only thing that happens in the next 11 months is that my students hear me talk about God, then I have failed at my job. If the things they learn over the next year only feed their intellect, the goal has not been accomplished.
I love this job, with all the ups and downs, the proverbial good, the bad, and the ugly. It gets challenging, and it can be a lot of work-late nights and early mornings. The opportunity to build friendships with people from around the world never gets old.
But that’s not what keeps me going. The goal is not, never has been, and never will be just teaching information, “how to” lessons, or even savoring the joy of relationships. The goal is love. Not love as an ooey gooey emotion. “Love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
My biggest question to myself whenever I am getting ready to teach is “what’s the point?” Why does what I am going to say matter? Will it make a concrete difference, or will it just be aimless ramblings while people down another cup of coffee to stay awake? But this verse from 1st Timothy reminds me of what the “point” (or “goal”) is. If, at the end of the year, my students can look back and say that they learned what it meant to love from a pure heart, what it means practically to have a good conscience and a sincere faith no matter what, then I’ve done my job well.
So here is my question for you: What, for you, is the “point”? Each of us is in a different situation, doing different work and facing different challenges. Wherever you are, the “point” is the same. The point is love, expressed practically in our lives and to those around us.
What does this look like where you are at? How can you see, and show, love, a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith in your situation? Feel free to share in the comments.