Avoid Godless Chatter
False teachers are often mentioned in these articles when it's my turn to write. I hope you don't get tired of that, because it really is a big deal. Scripture makes it a big deal. Jesus warns against it repeatedly, as do all of the New Testament writers in one way or another. Sometimes the mention is actively, such as "have nothing to do with them" or "be on your guard...". Sometimes it's more passive, as in "anyone who adds to the words of this book...." Either way, whether scripture is telling us to stay away from all such people or warning people who stray off the path, false teaching is a big deal.
Maybe you have thought about it like this. Scripture says there is ONE true faith (Eph 4:5), so all others are false in some aspect. Some doctrines only fall short of the Bible in a point or two, while some only agree with the Bible in a point or two. A Google search today said there are about 4,200 different religions in the world, assuming they categorize them into some alignment with mainstream religion. So let's back up, raise our reading glasses, and look at this in the big picture. There are 4,199 religions out there teaching false doctrine to some degree, and we know those numbers are both soft and subjective.
In 2 Timothy, Paul has a section dealing with false teachers, and their doctrine. He has just completed a section trying to remind people of what Jesus has done for them, and what their response should be (2 Tim 2:1-13), then he says "keep reminding God's people of these things" vs-14. Keeping these positive things in front of us daily will help in dealing with false teachers, but that doesn't stop Paul from following that up with a warning that we must apply directly to our lives today.
Paul tells Timothy to warn people against quarreling words, as they ruin those who listen. Learn scripture, so we can know it in order to correctly handle it vs-14 & 15. Then in vs-16, Paul says this, "Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly." Coming from our televisions, our social media, and sometimes from the mouths of those we are around, we are exposed to 'godless chatter' all day, if we allow ourselves to be. It's just there. We don't have to particularly go looking for it, yet we do have to make an exerted effort to avoid it.
Paul explains why it is necessary to avoid being around 'godless chatter'. It's because the words of those spreading it "spread like gangrene" vs-17. Do me a favor, after you read this, Google 'gangrene', but in a nutshell, gangrene is a type of tissue death caused by a lack of blood supply. Great choice of words Paul, to describe what happens to us when we replace our daily dose of 'everything God' with godless chatter. What keeps us alive, what keeps us healthy, what flows through our spiritual bodies to supply the food we need to sustain spiritual life and promote spiritual growth can't be godless chatter. We can't live on it. We will die!
Toward the end of 2 Tim 2, Paul says, "Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments..." vs-22 & 23. Let us fill our lives with righteousness, faith, love and peace, not godless chatter. It is poison to our souls, it will keep us spiritually sick, and it will cause damage to our spirituality. Staying away from people, places and entertainment that supply "stupid arguments" and "produce quarrels" will keep us headed in the right direction, and keep us away from godless chatter.
This is just one more of so many warnings we have from scripture of things to avoid that make living for God so much harder if we expose ourselves to them, and especially if we chose to indulge in them. Let us heed the warnings, avoid these unrighteous things, and cling to righteousness. The healthy condition of our souls depends upon it.