“for people will be lovers of self…” [2 timothy 3:2]

lovers of self – ouch. i have to admit, this one hit home. selfishness is a daily struggle for so many of us. it’s how sin entered in to the world [gen 3:1-7], adam and eve decided in one moment that their own desires were more important than living in the presence of their creator. that. it’s at the root of almost every sin, the idea of “living my life for me.”

this idea, being a lover of self, living my life for me is how paul opens this entire section on godlessness.

oh that we would hear the voice of our loving father in this, calling us back to himself, calling us back to fellowship with him. just as he pursued adam and eve after they sinned and called them back into fellowship with him [gen 3:9]. as our hearts seek him, as he convicts our souls of selfish living, would we be humbled, and see the heart of God right here. the heart of a loving father, taking his children into his loving arms and saying, “my child, here is what is good and right for you, walk in these things, don’t walk in these other things that are only going to cause you pain and hurt and drive us apart.”

as i meditated on this opening line, my heart was convicted. its so easy for me to want to look at a list like this from a “holier than thou” perspective. to use this list as a ruler to say “hey i’m not that bad” or “look at how good i am, i don’t do this or that.” but rather, may our hearts be still in the presence of our king and let him convict and call us to repentance, call us to himself.

instead of coming to this list with a heart looking to justify ourselves or to point fingers and play the look-see game “look at how bad they are.” my prayer is that we would spend the time today to be still in the presence of our king. that we would let his word handle our hearts, that his truth would pierce our souls and that our hearts would be undone in the presence of our king as we find our only worth and value, not in what we do or have done, not in anything of ourselves, but only at the foot of the cross, holy, perfect and loved because of the blood of Christ that was poured out for our sins so that we could be made right with him.

search me, o God, and know my heart!

try me and know my thoughts!

and see if there be any grievous way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting!

[psalm 139:23-24]

~ josiah bridges