At a crossroad in my life, I picked up a small wooden plaque with these words: “Neglect NOT the gift that is in you!” ( I- Timothy 4:14). The word ‘not’ was capitalized and it was the perfect message for me or so I thought. I had a small interior design business and two small boys. We were stressed and frustrated all the time with the schedule of it all. I persevered with this scripture. After all, I was to “Neglect NOT” the gift that was my God-given capacity to see and implement a room fully decorated, before it was done, from floor to ceiling in color with texture and pattern. Right?
Wrong! Dead wrong, I was, and it sent us on a downward spiral. Then; one day, in one of those moments when you are crying out to the Lord and asking why or why not, I decided to look that scripture up. Lo, and Behold, the meaning of the gift was not me — it was The Word. Here it is in full context:
I Timothy 4:11 – 16
These things command and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in the Word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things: give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
Since I had not had the eldership lay hands on me to receive my gift, nor was I a prophet, I felt ashamed at how incredibly self-centered of me to think automatically that the scripture was completely about me. “The gift” was The Word. I allowed myself to be deceived through my own lack of knowledge. These verses were packed full of what I was to be doing with “the gift”. I started to pursue The Word, not without letting my own gift die, and on that journey my sons and my husband have come to know God with me. To God Be The Glory!!!
Many times since then I have heard scriptures given out of context to mean what that person wants it to mean. One in particular is: “Money is the root of all evil”. Implying, we are to get rid of money as fast as we can; or, at the very least, treat it like evil. Read the scripture:
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
It is the LOVE of and not the money itself that is evil. Big difference from what is so freely quoted today. Pray and start reading the whole chapter or better yet the whole book and find what The Word has to say. I will close with the verse that Paul has written to admonish Timothy.
1 Timothy 6:20-21
O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called — knowledge. By professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.
This is why I study The Bible.