A Worker Approved by God

June 3, 2021 — Krystal Craven
Devotional title text overlaying the side profile of a soldier in camouflage attire with a backpack on, standing on a hillside looking off into the landscape.

I have been reading through 1 & 2 Timothy and some things really stuck out to me (bold emphasized) as a need to repent and change.

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything….Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene…So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:3-7; 14-17; 22-26)

In our current world, seemingly driven by media and social media, it’s very hard to not get entangled in what’s going on around us. Don’t get me wrong, being aware of current events isn’t inherently wrong. However, nowadays it tends to closely ride a border between being up to date on current events and being obsessed with what’s going on, or thought to be going on, and goes beyond conversation and instead leads to quarreling because everyone online has a different opinion about it (ignorant controversies).

If soldiers don’t get entangled with civilian pursuits, because their aim is to please the one who enlisted them, then we as spiritual soldiers in God’s army shouldn’t get entangled in the world’s pursuits because it takes our focus away from the One whom we serve and often to the detriment of His Kingdom’s work.

I’ve honestly had to step away from social media completely in regular intervals in order to not get entangled in it, because I was finding myself getting wrapped up in the comment sections of trending posts. I was frequently tempted to write my own comments but nothing I wanted to write was coming from anywhere other than my flesh reactions to other’s comments. There is a time when certain conversations can be had on social media, but more times than not, if it’s of real value it isn’t being found on social media. How often do people write comments in the heat of a moment, having less restraint because they’re not looking into the eyes of a person as they type it? It happens all day long throughout the time zones, yet the posts that trend are often trending because of quarreling about words, which we clearly read in Timothy, does no good but only ruins the hearers, and leads into more ungodliness, spreading like gangrene (much like controversy going viral these days). Do we really want to be a part of that?

In reading through those things, I wasn’t being edified and uplifted through it, and I was certainly not thinking upon things that are lovely, commendable, and worthy of praise through them (Philippians 4:8). I realized it was time to repent and cut out the perusing through FB. I want to present myself to God as approved and have no reason to be ashamed of how I’ve spent my time as His bondservant. I want to pursue the things of God, not being used by the enemy to further quarrels, which will definitely not lead people to God and but rather into ungodliness.

If you find yourself getting entangled in social media, losing time in quarrelsome and irreverent babble and ignorant controversies, I want to encourage you to do as Jesus instructed us: If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away (Matthew 5:29a).

I understand that some people can’t exactly just close their social media accounts, especially if you have a business and need an online presence or have family that lives far away and that’s how you can keep up with pictures of the kids and grandkids, but there are other ways to “tear it out and throw it away”.

  1. You can delete the app from your phone and have to go on a computer to access it so it’s not a mindless trap, but a purposeful action and intent. You can even set a sticky note with Matthew 5:29 on it near your computer so it serves as a reminder when you do get on. You may even want to add in this verse too: Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2).
  2. You can set a rule for yourself to only check in with family and friends’ posts so you can keep up with them, but not get caught up in the mindless scroll and the quarreling and time wasting that comes from it.
  3. If you have a business, you can schedule your posts and only interact with the business side of things as needed, avoiding the main feed altogether.

I’m sure there are other ways that could work for you, but the important part is having a pure heart before the Lord and having your actions aimed at pleasing God, who has prepared good works for you to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).

My fellow Christ follower, I pray that you will be a good soldier of Christ Jesus and present yourself to God as one approved, having no need to be ashamed. He is coming soon, my friend!