For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.2 Timothy 2-5
Last week Patrina and I were taking a look at a couple of projects we need to take care of in the backyard when we noticed some discoloration on one of the joists on our deck. Somehow the treated lumber had rotted behind the fascia board and now there is work to do!
Over the years I’ve read the passage above as a description of the general state of people in what Paul describes as the “last days” and it is, but tragically Paul is specifically describing the condition of some who would call themselves leaders in the local church.
Look at that list!
- Lovers of self
- lovers of money
- disobedient to their parents
- without self-control
- not loving good
- swollen with conceit
- lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
- having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power
I suppose I could write about each one of these, but let’s start with the last line – “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”
One of the biggest challenges in evaluating leaders is integrity. My mind goes immediately to a prominent leader of an international ministry who evidently managed to maintain a public image of godliness and he spoke throughout the world, but somewhere along the way, the rot began on the inside and today his image and his ministry are in ruins.
Personally, it’s always a good time to do a little self-evaluation, don’t you think?