Set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. . . Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone. (1 Timothy 4:12b, 15)
These two verses stood out for me this morning as I was considering the Scriptures for the day. I was particularly struck by the admonition that I should be absorbed by setting an example in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. One of the buzz words that I hear often these days is the need to be "countercultural." If anything is counter to our culture, being absorbed by matters of exemplary speech, conduct, love, faith and purity would certainly stand at the head of any list.
I think it would be fair to say that many times I am self-absorbed. What I mean to say is that I find myself most concerned about my health, my schedule, my needs, my wants, and my well-being. Fight them as I might, these concerns rear their ugly heads every morning as I get up and consider what lies ahead. Perhaps this is why I usually set the first hour of the day aside for prayer and meditation. I know myself well enough that once my feet hit the floor, my concerns will pretty much take the steering wheel out of my hands and the automatic transmission will kick in. Because I am aware of how my days are driven by these concerns, it is probably a good thing that I spend the first moments of the day being absorbed by something other than myself. If I turn to God in the morning, perhaps my prayers and thoughts will find a way to intrude themselves during the rest of the day.
At the very least, my hope is that my conduct that day will bear the marks of being "absorbed" with the Gospel. After all, the Gospel is the way of life that I have professed. It is the way of life all of us have promised to observe.