Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
Dad had a saying that he used when discernment washed over him about a person or situation. Dad was kind but not naive when it came to being an elder in God’s church. “Mm, if it walks and quacks like a duck, it’s probably is a duck.”, he would say. Meaning? Watch, look for Truth, be aware and be cautious.
Just yesterday, in the middle of our day, we got a call that we had won $950,000 and a new Mercedes from Publishers Clearing House. He had numbers to give us to give to the people who were going to drive up in 30 minutes to bestow these prizes. He even began quoting the Bible when Randy told him we are ministers. We played along. We are retired so we have the time.
We acted grateful and shocked, knowing all along this was a hoax. While Randy is getting all the rest of details, WITHOUT giving out any of our personal financial information, I am on my phone calling the local police for advice. I then get back on Randy’s phone to talk with “the manager” who assures us this is real. Uh, huh. We get more details and promises.
Wait for it….the “kicker” comes that proves the hoax. They will also pay all the taxes EXCEPT a measly $550 which we will pay to them upon arrival. And there it is. Truth. I tell them that I have my local police friends on another phone who will help me receive this “prize”. Suddenly the phone goes dead. Mm. If it talks, waddles and quacks like a duck…
Paul is telling Timothy, “don’t be naive” in this world of untruths, fake people who use religion to make a buck and those “allergic to God”, as Peterson writes in The Message version of this Truth for us today. Be aware. Pray for discernment. Don’t assume all church people have God’s best for us. Satan does some of his best work through the lives of those we sit next to in church. Seek God’s best for yourself. Pray, study His Word, seek God first. Help others seek Him, too. These are difficult times, too. We must be pray for wisdom and discernment in all situations of life.
2 Timothy 3, The Message
Difficult Times Ahead
1-5 Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.
6-9 These are the kind of people who smooth-talk themselves into the homes of unstable and needy women and take advantage of them; women who, depressed by their sinfulness, take up with every new religious fad that calls itself “truth.” They get exploited every time and never really learn. These men are like those old Egyptian frauds Jannes and Jambres, who challenged Moses. They were rejects from the faith, twisted in their thinking, defying truth itself. But nothing will come of these latest impostors. Everyone will see through them, just as people saw through that Egyptian hoax.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #12: Don’t be naive! Seek Truth.
Character Traits –
–Pray for wisdom in all situations of life.
–Lean on the Holy Spirit to guide us into all Truth.
–Rely on God for orders and outcomes.
–Look beyond the talk to the walk.
–Avoid behavior all that is opposite of God’s Word and instruction.
–Ask questions until truth is made known. People allergic to God will show their true colors eventually. God helps that to happen so that we will know.
–Be alert for anything not of God, be aware of surroundings that could lead us away from God, and assume nothing until questioned.
–Focus on God and His will. “May Your Kingdom come, Your will be done” in every detail of our lives here on earth as it is in heaven.
If it walks and quacks like a duck…it’s probably a duck.
Dear Heavenly Father,
It is scary to know how others use Your Word to get what they want in this life with no conscience of whom it will hurt. We cannot be naive. But we need your help. You have taught us to be loving, accepting and kind but we also need to be filled with Your wisdom, discernment and understanding as we do life here. We want to trust in others but we must be wise and look beyond the talk to the walk. Help us to still be loving AND discerning. We stand with You so we won’t fall for anything that comes along to distract us from you. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen