Neither be partakers of other men’s sins. Keep thyself pure.

That is how I memorized First Timothy 5:22 in the old King James Bible. The meaning of the verse was not lost.

Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should do it.

Place your personal purity ahead of personal relationships, social acceptance or ambition.

Here is the entire verse from three other English versions:

 MEV
(Modern English Version)
 NIV
(New International Version)
 The Message
 Do not lay hands suddenly on anyone, and do not partake of other men’s sins. Keep yourself pure.   Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.  Don’t appoint people to church leadership positions too hastily. If a person is involved in some serious sins, you don’t want to become an unwitting accomplice.
The Goal of a Pure Heart

When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, he was emphasizing purity. In chapter one, he wrote about true love:

…continue to remain at Ephesus so that you might command some to teach no other doctrine, nor pay attention to fables and endless genealogies, which cause debaheartpictes rather than godly edifying, which is in faith. Now the goal of this command is love from a pure heart, and from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. From this, some have lost their way and turned aside to empty talk, desiring to be teachers of the law, and understanding neither what they say nor what they affirm.

I live in a generation that has forgotten what love really is. We have switched the meanings of the two words love and gratification. People can say, “I love you” when they actually mean “You make me happy” or “You satisfy my need for gratification.” That ain’t love.

Love needs to proceed from a pure heart, a clean conscience and sincere faithfulness. Otherwise it is just meaningless words of a mindless person.

 

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