In 1 Timothy, a surprising statement is made about Godliness. It is called a great mystery, something concealed but easily discovered through controversy. Those are the keys words I’d like us to analyze today: without controversy.
Why is it that if controversy is not present, the mystery of Godliness, or God-likeness becomes greater, more difficult to understand? Why would opposition need to be present to reveal the true nature of Godliness?
It paints a beautiful picture to think that every attack against Godliness, every insult toward a righteous person is used to expose the mystery of Godliness to all men.
A rose gives it’s sweetest fragrance when crushed.
Perhaps it is fitting that Jesus is called the Rose of Sharon. In the face of opposition He showed forth His true nature. When assailed He forgave and unravelled the mystery of Godliness in the presence of controversy.
I’d like to tell you about my favorite word of all time, the word is discern. I love the word because it is both equal and opposite, it has two meanings that are contrary to one another.
1. To recognize, acknowledge, distinguish, or respect.
2. To act or treat as foreign or strange, to misconstrue.
On one hand to discern means to make known or to seek out. On the other hand to discern means to conceal or make difficult to distinguish. Therefore, the word itself needs parameters for its meanings to be conveyed. The word “discernment” is the proper word to use in place of “discern” for the meaning we give it in the world today.
Actually, in truth, you will not find the word “discern” given its correct meanings in any current dictionary, it has been removed from its roots and had come to mean something new. In reality, to have discernment is basically to choose which form of discern someone is using, to discuss whether they are concealing or revealing information. So, of necessity discernment is necessary to determine the meaning of discern.
Without contradiction, without contention, great would be the mystery of discerning. But, with contention, it’s meaning can become clear.
When contention arises in your life, when things seem to be going against you, allow those things to prove the Godliness in your life and reveal the mystery to a lost world. Let the trials crush you to allow the sweet fragrance of Christ to flow from you.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist