Shooting toward the goal.
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But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
1 Timothy 1:5-7 (New American Standard Bible)
At the Holy Cross Men’s Retreat this past weekend we had an archery range. There were several bows and targets at various distances. I had not shot a bow since high school gym class and even then I can’t remember if I hit a target or not. Prior to the competition I went down to see how I might do. With some instruction I don’t think I was too shabby. But then for the competition things went downhill. My score was among the lowest.
In my college days I had a thing for correct theology. I wanted to know chapter and verse so that I could correct or instruct others. This started as a really good desire to know God’s truth and to make that truth known. However, it quickly morphed from a Godly desire into a prideful exercise to show off my own knowledge or understanding. I tried to hide that part of my heart but I’m sure it showed.
The goal of Godly instruction is, as Paul tells Timothy above, “love from a pure heart”. This is the center of the target. To anyone who wants to be wise, it’s a good thing. But the goal of that wisdom, the center of the target must be love. Anything else will take that good thing and create a Pharisaical monster.
Lord, let us earnestly seek to know You. In that study, keep our hearts directed on the goal, the center of the target. May our knowing always result in loving You more and helping others to love You more too.
Photo and text copyright David Brukiewa