2 Timothy 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. [ESV]
Oh Lord, save us from ourselves and heal us! We have met the enemy…and he is us!a The changes of culture have affected, and sometimes infected, our minds. The infection is so subtle we no longer are able to recognize unacceptable behavior is actually sin.
- “Lovers of self” cover their selfishness behind a guise of self esteem.
- “Lovers of money” are no longer greedy. They’re considered to be economically savvy if they find ways to scheme for “more.”
- “Proud, arrogant, abusive or disobedient” are no longer unacceptable and unhealthy behaviors. They’ve become an acceptable form of personal expression.
- “Ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit” are excused as the byproduct of bad life circumstances rather than the loss of personal integrity.
These bullet points are shocking symptoms in these “times of difficulty.” We’re in a pandemic of immorality and the infection is getting worse. Our minds have been infected but we’re still not sure we’re sick. We are not immune. Even believers can become “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” We have met the enemy…and he is us!a Oh Lord, save us from ourselves and heal us!
aCartoonist Walt Kelly’s 20th century parody for his character Pogo of an 1812 naval commander’s quote