Are you a drama magnet? A drama queen? None of us likes to admit it, so maybe I should ask “Has anyone ever told you that you are a drama queen?” Have you ever looked at your life and thought, “Why does drama seem to follow me around?” In my post last week, I shared some suggestions for determining if you are a drama magnet. The first step is to open your mind to the possibility. Would you do that? Would you open your mind to the possibility? Read the post to learn more.
Even if you still conclude that you are not a drama magnet, I would venture a guess that most of us on this planet feel like we have too much drama in our lives. We’d like to deal with it. We’d like to remove it from our lives. Know this, it is possible to stop the drama.
Yesterday, we continued our teaching series through the Apostle Paul’s letter to a young pastor Timothy, which is why the letter is called 1st Timothy. Last Sunday we looked at the introduction, and yesterday we studied Paul’s first instructions, which you can read in 1st Timothy 1:3-11. He has a command for Timothy. Simply put, the command is “Timothy, I’ve been hearing about the drama queens in the church, and you must stop them.”
That might sound harsh, but we must remember that Paul started this church. He knew these people well, as he had spent nearly three years with them. He loved them, and he wanted them to thrive as a church. When he hears about the drama, he knows that is not in their best interest, and worse, it has a strong chance of ruining the life-changing work that God wants to do in their town. The drama has to stop.
In this passage Paul reminds Timothy that the people in the church need to have a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith, which will lead to love. Basically Paul is saying that we need to be transformed within, because what is inside us what matters. These qualities turn our lives into fertile soil from which love grows.
As Jesus said, “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” We need to remove the junk from inside and place goodness within. Then love will flow from our lives rather than controversy. We’ll notice that we are starting drama much less as we love more. And when drama enters into our lives, as it almost surely will, we will be prepared to respond to it with love rather than more drama.
Paul teaches Timothy a powerful principle about Christian faith. Disciples of Jesus stop the drama because they have been inwardly transformed. Disciples of Jesus have a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith, all of which work together to build a solid foundation of love in their lives. It is a foundation that cannot be shaken by controversy and drama that so often seeks to throw us off kilter.
The question, then, is this: how do we change from the inside? How do we transform a dirty heart into a pure heart, an faulty conscience into a good one, weak faith into sincere faith?
We had a good discussion about this very question at sermon discussion group yesterday. Let’s keep that discussion going in the comments below! Please share your practical suggestions for how to change your inner life.
I have a few suggestions that I believe are basic. When I played soccer in college, our coach required us to start every practice with 10-15 minutes of working on basic ball control skills. You’d think that a college-level player should be way beyond that, right? You’d think that in college we had the basics mastered long ago, so we could spend time on advanced skills and tactics.
My coach was on to something important, though. We should see the basics as important all the time. Just as practicing the basics is vital in sports, in music, it is in faith. So I recommend that if you want to move on to a more sincere faith, if you want to move on to a purer heart and good conscience, then first ask yourself how you are doing with the basic habits of faith?
Basic Habit #1 – Prayer. Are you praying that God will change you? How often are you praying? How can you go deeper in prayer, spend more time in prayer? Will you need to get someone to help you pray? Will you need to stop doing something, like watching TV, in order to make more room in your life to pray?
Basic Habit #2 – Study. Are you reading the Bible? Are you thinking about what you read? How often do you read the Bible? And when you read, how much do you read? Do you need to get someone to help you understand what you are reading? Most importantly of all, are applying what you read to your life?
Basic Habit #3 – Accountability. Are you talking about your inner life with anyone? Are you isolated? Who can you talk to about the purity level of your heart? Who can you talk to about your conscience? About how to have a more sincere faith? Disciples of Jesus are not meant to go it alone. Instead we grow through relationship. Just like Paul is staying in touch with Timothy through this letter, we need people in our lives to help us grow. This is also why a church family is so important.
What are other habits have you used that help you grow?