More times than not, the inner conflict is over a relationship. It’s so easy to be misunderstood and misinterpreted in our relationships. After all, we each have a filter through which we give and receive.
The early church was not without tension and conflict either.
Paul wrote to young Timothy, encouraging him to not grow weary in his faith. He also wrote to give him clear instruction concerning matters of the church and Christian living. Paul warns Timothy about false teachings and doctrines that were common in the Ephesian church. The first portion of 1 Timothy is full of instructions, and truths for the believer.
Paul doesn’t mince words in the first chapter of 1 Timothy. He admonishes the believers under Timothy’s care, stating that they had missed the whole point. Instead of living their lives in genuine faith, from a pure heart and clear conscience, they’ve been spending their time caught up in meaningless discussions.
I can recognize times when I’ve missed the whole point too. I get tangled up in meaningless discussion. I overthink every angle. I play out imaginary scenarios that will likely never happen. My default approach is to be defensive. Unfortunately, I often don’t recognize my lack of love until it’s too late.
Paul’s words show me that I must have a clear awareness of my human predisposition. Like the Ephesians, I’m bent toward meaningless pursuits… like dissecting a discussion in my mind that will more than likely never happen.
As a believer, our goal should be to mature not only in faith, but also in our relationships, and be “filled with love that comes from a pure heart” (1 Timothy 1:5). We can use Paul’s checkpoints of godly love: a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith. It’s an ongoing battle, but let’s be encouraged that if we allow God to search our hearts and listen to the Holy Spirit for truth, then He will correct us.
Is there an area of your life where you are facing a dilemma of the heart? Do you feel inner conflict? Do you want to be filled with more love for others? Are you weary in the faith?
Humble yourself before God. Pray in earnest that He would search your heart. Allow Him to fill you with a divine love that breaks down barriers and infiltrates our human filters. When we allow God to search our whole being, He can give us a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith. Then we will see clearly and make our decisions out of a pure love.