2 Tim 3:5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Paul is warning Timothy of the difficult times ahead of him and provides a lengthy list of behaviors in people that he will run into during his ministry. The list that Paul uses to describe people is a long list and not flattering. He is warning Timothy to be careful who he associates with as he continues his ministry. Unfortunately, Paul is describing people who call themselves believers who have the appearance of godliness. He is not describing non-Christians. The directive is to avoid these people.
Remember what viewpoint I need to build a foundation. The world will always have a desire for money, wealth, will be proud and arrogant, lovers of self, etc. as Paul details. It is when I let the world’s views, ideas and measuring stick into my life, my home and the church that I have a problem. The list that Paul describes is a list of the world’s influences on the church. I must remember that God’s word is sufficient and should be the tool to teach and direct me and others.
Be careful who I allow to influence me. It is easy to follow the crowd. No one in the crowd will judge you while you are in the crowd. Only by stepping out and away from the crowd can I see if the crowd is going in the right direction.
Paul warns Timothy to “avoid these people”. What was true for Timothy is true for me. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, allowing deceitful people into my life will harm me. Allowing to be influenced and even associated with people that don’t walk and talk the truth harms my witness, my integrity and my ability to do all God wants me to do.
Provide me with the wisdom to discern. Provide me with the strength to identify and stand up to the ungodly behavior from some in the church today. Let me stay true to your word and allow others to see in me the truth.