Turning Aside to Myths

2 Timothy 4:1-8 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom. Preach the message,  be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths. You, however, be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart  is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith! Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day – and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.

This passage slaps me on my face when I read the “they will turn away from hearing the truth… turn aside to myths” part. I should admit that this is happening now on how people seek not the righteousness but their own justification. Me too, sometimes doing this. It is easier to seek what pleases our ears than to seek what pleases God’s heart. And what surprises me is, why Paul said that people will turn aside to myths.

What is myth? An on-line dictionary gives me this definition: a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature. Myths were used to teach humans behavior that helped people live in concert with one another. Mythical gods certainly had some strange and not acceptable behavior yet stories often demonstrated such topics as the need for hospitality (tale of Philemon and Baucis) or the need to keep pride in check (Narcissus). In the eyes of the gods, excessive pride, or hubris, was the worst offense and deserved the worst punishment. (Niobe story). 

To me, myth is as simple as other stories, other words, other beliefs that are not Christ-centered, that are not in-line with the Gospel, that are not in-line with the Bible. I must say, our scientific knowledges may also include in my so-called definition, if it’s the opposite to God’s words.

Seems so lame to me. Even with my logical thinking I can’t accept that people prefer turning aside to myth to turning back to the truth. Is such story that doesn’t have a certain determinable basis of fact more acceptable than the truth of God? Hm, I know this is a faith kind of question, too. Just… really?

But that is happening. What kind of myth you hear today? You hear about your zodiac compatibility? Or your Myers-Briggs 16 personalities? Or about your sanguine-melancholic-phlegmatic-choleric? Or about eating in front of your door will move away your true love? (Lol that’s what I heard in Bataknese myth).

Our psychological human being prefer hearing what pleases us to seeking what pleases others, what pleases God. But friends, no such thing is greater and more powerful and more truthful than God’s words. Don’t spend your life reading more of earthy words than God’s words. Spend more time to seek the truth of God’s kingdom (Mat 6:33), and all will be given to you: the wisdom to distinguish the right from the wrong, the strength to do the right one, the healing when you’re broken doing what is right, also, the ability to be self-controlled in all things, endure hardship, do an evangelist’s work, and fulfill your ministry.

Don’t forget to preach what you’ve been seeking in the Bible to other people. Don’t forget to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and instruction. Let us not giving our ears to myth. Let us open our ears wider for the truth so that we can follow Paul’s model and say that we also have competed well, have finished the race, and have kept the faith.

P.S.: Ask God’s help to do so, of course.

May God bless us.

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Elisabeth Yosephine

Not an open book. I tell things I want people to know. Even so, I tell them in different viewpoints according to what response I want to get.

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