The soldier who is on active duty must lead an untangled life because if war suddenly breaks out, the soldier would be held down, unable to accomplish his task and effectively useless. The key verse is 2 Tim 2:1-4 with a focus on verses 3 and 4. â€œEntanglesâ€ is in the present tense with a passive voiceâ€”in other words, the affairs of life are acting on the soldier and he’s not actively entangling himself.
The affairs of life are not wrong in themselves but they do take time and when someone focuses solely on those things it can become an entanglement.
We are to love our family, but in comparison (or on a measure) to the love of Christ it should be hate. In other wordsâ€”the love to Christ should greatly exceed the love to the family.
Business ventures are a matter that is completely fine but we’re not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers within those ventures. Entertainment like sports, travel, hobbies and music can entangle as much as School Activities, Politics and different types of clubs (boy scouts, awana, girl scouts). Decorating, be it interior or landscaping devours time and so does the Newsâ€”which we find exceedingly helpful but sometimes we just spend hours focused on it. Education is intoxicating especially when some people want to be a student their whole lives; constantly taking another major in school.
There’s religious entanglements too. Bible conferences are a big one. A non-prioritized ministry where we’re leaving the best for just the good. Excessive meetings where we gather for all types of reasons: it should be a quality in gatheringâ€”not a quantity. Hospitality to the point that there are so many visitors that no work is being done. Despondent Discipleship where you’re being a tender teacher to a person who really isn’t responding, isn’t progressing and not really caring about itâ€”move on! Entertaining yout hprograms where kids are under-challengedâ€”focusing on the peripherals instead of the core: challenge them instead! Boards and committees are not wrong in themselves but they must be balanced!
Whatever rules your time and thoughts proves to be your master and we either want no masters or too many masters. We have to focus on One Master and that is Christâ€”preeminent in all things. This is why it is important to focus on the best.
Paul could’ve spent countless hours with an anti-slavery campaign but he didn’tâ€”he was called to preach the gospel. He could’ve spent countless hours focusing on baptizing people but once again he didn’tâ€”he preached!
Categorize and Prioritize
Firstly separate the wise from the foolish: 1) working out your salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12) 2) being innocent to what is evil and wise to what is good (Rom 16:19-20) and not being corrupted from the single hearted loyalty and purity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3)
Secondly, separate the best from the good: 1) not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together (Heb 10:25); 2) Committing your words to those who are faithful (2 Tim 2:2); 3) Redeeming the time because the days are evil (Eph 5:16). We’re to squeeze every effective second for the maximum yield. Before you make a decision to give more time to the Lord, ask yourself if you have squeezed the current time you have because God grows ministries only when he grows people. Therefore be faithful to the portion given to you.
Thirdly, separate the Good from the permissible. Always ask yourselves these questions: 1) Is it profitable for my spiritual growth (1 Cor 10:23); is it profitable for someone else (Rom 14:9); 3) will my idle talk reduce men to silence (Job 11:3) and 4) do you listen and ask questions.
Fourthly, separate the Good from the Harmful. Does it pass the Phil 4:8 test: Is it true, just, honest nad praiseworthy? Could it cause someone else to stumble by mastering them (1 Cor 8:9)?
Fifthly separate the simple from the extravagant: 1) Love of money (1 Tim 6:6-10); 2) Rejoice Always (1 Thes 5) by being satisfied with what you have; 3) live a life that counts for eternity
Doctrine is always lived outâ€”what we truly believe will be seen in our lives. If we truly believe there will be evidence in our lives.
Session 10-Warren Henderson