Have you ever used a diet where you had to record everything you ate? It is revealing to track all the calories you consume, and you may be surprised at how quickly you use up your daily maximum. Suddenly, the number on the scale makes more sense.
I’ve often wondered what we would discover if we recorded what we feed our souls. As we watch Netflix, scroll social media, listen to music, engage in conversations, and surf the web, what ideas are we taking in? What messages are filling our minds?
In 1 Timothy 4, the Apostle Paul urges his young colleague to feed his soul well. Paul was a father-figure to Timothy (1 Tim. 1:2). The two were also co-laborers on Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:1–5). And after that, Paul sent Timothy on missions of his own (1 Cor. 4:17).
When Paul wrote this letter, Timothy was acting as his ambassador in Ephesus. Paul tasked Timothy with addressing certain doctrinal problems that were threatening that group of believers. In 1 Timothy 4:1–5, Paul warned Timothy of “hypocritical liars” who were spreading false teaching. He reminded Timothy of the “good teaching” he had received (v. 6). Timothy’s training had begun at home, where he was “brought up in the truths of the faith” by his mother and grandmother (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14–15). He had also experienced discipleship from the church (Acts 16:2). And, of course, he was mentored by Paul.
But in verses 11–16, through a series of imperatives, Paul urges Timothy to take ownership of his ongoing spiritual nourishment. Timothy was to teach the truth, devote himself to Scripture, use his gift of preaching, and guard his doctrine. Doctrine and action are connected. We live rightly when we know rightly. What we feed our heart and mind comes out in our life.
What do you feed yourself—body, mind, and soul? What should you add to your diet? Is there anything you should remove?
Pray with Us: Your wonderful, eternal love nourishes us. The truth of Your Word protects us from wrong teachings and desires. May we heed and follow Paul’s instructions to Timothy about the right spiritual nourishment.