overanalyzing the gospel

Being an OCD detail guy I overanalyze everything. Sometimes I can even overanalyze taking out the trash. Should I take it out now or wait until we throw out this old food? Is there a need to empty the cans in the rest of the house or should I just wait until company is coming? Do I need to go ahead and take it down to the street now to beat the rain or is there even rain in the forecast? Seriously, I have these thoughts sometimes…ok, maybe almost every time and maybe I need counseling. Too often I am an expert overanalyzer.

In the last 24 hours though, I have been slapped with the question of do we overanalyze the gospel? I read in 1 Timothy 6:20-21 where Paul writes to Timothy and says, “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.” Paul challenges Timothy to guard with his life what has been entrusted to him, the treasure of the gospel. Then Paul steps on the toes of believers for generations by warning Timothy not to engage in “godless chatter” but instead refers to these conversations among believers as opposing ideas falsely disguised as knowledge. Hello! Could it be that what we have held so strongly to for so long and labeled as knowledge is ultimately only a comfortable lie that we have grown to believe? Paul even explains that many many have believed in and professed in this “godless chatter” and as a result of it have “wandered from the faith.” The Message translation states verse 21 like this, “People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.” Simply stated, these people have been charged with too much talk and overanalyzing the gospel.

As I sit here in my office at my church job with my nicely framed seminary degree on my wall, I must raise my hand and say yes, guilty as charged of overanalyzing the gospel. I am left asking myself whether sometimes my Christianity and my seminary degree make me a professional “godless chatterer” or an obedient follower of Christ. Christ calling on me was simple in His last words on earth, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Bam! There it is as clear-cut and as simple as He could make it for me. Go and make disciples. Don’t talk about it forever just go. God has put us on mission to share our life with others and make disciples, but if I spend more time talking about how good following God is rather than living out my faith and actually following God, I can be guilty of missing the whole mission. No doubt we are called to sharpen ourselves in the Word so that as we disciple we are able to speak from a knowledge of the truth, but the moment that we allow our self-sharpening to make us “knowledge-gainers” rather than “disciple-makers” we are blowing the mission that we have been given.


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About me…

My name is Bryant May. I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to the most beautiful and God-fearing woman I know, director of production at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, an Alabama football fanatic, and an OCD organization/clean freak.

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