When a lie wants to creep into my life and suck me in, keeping me from my homeschooling my kids and remembering to defrost dinner because I’m down the rabbit hole, thinking about an all-consuming thought — how do I stop it?
I was looking at Titus, because I really want to spend most of my time being an older woman who is a teacher of good things, teaching younger women “to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5).
That’s in Titus 2. The original letter didn’t have chapter breaks and verse numbers. Check out what’s just before that, in Titus 1!
“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. One of them, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’ This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:10-16, NKJV).
I highlighted all the ways the people of the Island of Crete were being deceived.
They weren’t thinking about things that are true (Philippians 4:8).
And I noticed that their deceit went hand-in-hand with their failure to stay busy, doing good works.
Paul had a similar discussion over in his first letter to Timothy, this time about some young widows in their congregation.
“Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
“But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:9-15, NKJV).
I spoke with a dear friend on the phone yesterday. I was getting sucked into that rabbit hole I was telling you about — the one where someone had said something that wasn’t true, and inside my brain, I was on my soapbox, trying to say something that would fix the situation. I was mentally not home. I was starting to wander from house to house, on the edge of gossip, busying myself in someone else’s life (at least mentally)… and not getting anything done on my to-do list.
And how did my friend tell me to fix this situation?
“Get busy, Anne.”
“What should I do? I can’t think right now!” (I was pretty upset.) “Should I wash the walls?”
“Well, yeah, if they need it,” she said. “Get the schoolwork done. Get your body moving. Do something useful for your family.”
Hey, situations like this really can help us have a clean house! LOL! But they also keep us thinking on things that are true.
Run from laziness, from mental soapboxes, from digging into myths and mysteries. When you run into someone who is turning from truth to commandments of men, it’s a good time to “bring up” your children, bake a loaf of bread for a neighbor, plan a menu, tackle the dishes, work in the garden, and otherwise manage your household.
I have such good friends to remind me of these things!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.