Choices are important. But choices are a product of what we think. If our thinking is ordered by God and his word, then we will have lives ordered and ruled by God. If our thinking is influenced by the world and by the evil that is in the world, then our lives will be disorderly and finally ruined.
The apostle Paul told his young friend Timothy what God’s word was designed to do. He wrote, “But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith,” (1 Timothy 1:5 NET).
William Barclay, in his commentary of 1 Timothy 1:5 wrote there was “a picture of those who are true Christian thinkers,” in this passage. Christian thinkers, Barclay wrote, base their thinking on faith. Faith comes from hearing God’s word and doing it (Romans 10:17). Faithful Christians understand the value of God’s commandments because that is their primary thought process. King David wrote, “With all my heart I seek you. Do not allow me to stray from your commands! In my heart I store up your words so I might not sin against you,” (Psalm 119:10-11 NET).
Barclay continued by observing the Christian is “motivated by love.” Paul said the goal of the commandment (or instruction) is love from a pure heart. If everything I do is motivated by love, my thinking will be ordered accordingly. My ability to live without resorting to sin is practically assured. Certainly, I’ll never be perfect, but I will have come a long, long way toward becoming more like Jesus!
Let’s not forget the value of a good conscience trained by the word of God. That good conscience is like armor plating in the tempest of a world filled with temptation and sin. Learning God’s word can keep us from falling victim to the tempter’s wiles (Ephesians 6:11).
Last, but certainly not least, is a sincere faith. This is not faked faith. It is not hypocrisy. It is a life lived in sincere devotion to God and his word. Remember, David wrote, “With all my heart I seek you.” This is faith unfeigned. Devotion is not one of the world’s favorite things. In fact, if the current political scenario has shown us anything, it is that devotion to the truth and to right has been discontinued for lies and hypocrisy. The one who orders his thinking in accordance with 1 Timothy 1:5 will find life on earth rewarding and eternal life much more desirable.