Greetings, beloved Family, Friends and Leaders, and good morning.
“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,…” (1 Timothy 1:5-6 (NKJV)
“…From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling…” (I Timothy 1:6, KJV)
TODAY’S TITLE: “DONT GET OFFENDED AND GET OUT OF JOINT OF YOUR ASSIGNMENT!!“
Have you ever been in a situation where you found it hard to submit graciously to the orders of the person in authority over you? Maybe you thought, “What was wrong with what I did?”, or “Why do I have to change it again?” Maybe you thought that the orders were unfair or that you had a better idea.
Can you think of a moment when a fellow employee, staff member, or volunteer became so obstinate, disagreeable, or uncooperative that it made everyone else feel uneasy or offended?
We’ve probably all had experiences in which one person’s belligerence caused us and those around us to feel ill at ease. This uneasy circumstance is particularly awkward when everyone else is in agreement and willing to do what is being asked, but one person decides to defy those in authority, refusing to budge, unwilling to give an inch. This kind of person can put the entire group and project “on hold” because a stubborn, quarrelsome, provoking, “pig-headed” attitude stalemates everything!
Can you think of a person that you know who acts like this? Have you ever been the person that I’m describing? Can you remember an instance when you were the one who acted like a “bone out of joint” because you got unfocused with the rest of the team?
Today, I want us to look at the phrase “a bone out of joint” and see what it means to be out of place. I’m taking this phrase from I Timothy 1:6, and you’ll see how I arrived at it: so let’s go there, first, to see how Paul used it and how it applies to you and me today
When the book of First Timothy was written, young Timothy had only recently stepped into the position of Senior Pastor. In the early months of his pastoral ministry, he was simultaneously enjoying phenomenal success and huge challenges. The successes had to do with growth that his church was experiencing. However, Timothy also had to deal with rebellious leaders who didn’t like him or who thought he was too young to be Pastor of such a large church: these leaders had no desire to submit to Timothy’s authority or follow his vision. The attitudes of these argumentative leaders became so rank that Paul wrote to Timothy about this problem. Referring to the belligerent people under Timothy’s authority, Paul said, “…from which some, having swerved, have turned aside unto vain jangling…” (1 Timothy 1:6)
I want you to especially pay close attention to the words “turned aside”: these words come from the Greek word“EKTREPO”, which means “to turn or to twist”. This word was also a term used in the medical world to denote a bone that had slipped out of joint. When Paul used this word to picture these argumentative and stubborn leaders, he was making a powerful statement about them and their bad attitudes: he was calling them “a bone out of joint”!
When a person has a bone out of joint, it’s a very difficult, painful experience. Although that bone is still located inside his/her body and isn’t broken, it isn’t properly connected, therefore, it becomes a major source of pain and irritation, sending signals of pain throughout the entire body. If you’ve ever had an out-of-joint bone in your body, you know how excruciatingly painful it can be. This is exactly the image Paul had in mind when he used the word “EKTREPO” to describe the unruly, difficult church members that Timothy was trying to work with. Although these people were saved and valuable to God, they had become a source of pain and irritation to the Pastor and, ultimately, to the entire church because of their rebellious attitude and refusal to cooperate. The strife they had caused in the church was a distraction that pulled Timothy from what he needed to be doing, by constantly demanding that he try to bring peace. All of these problems resulted from the rebellious attitudes of a few people who didn’t want to follow the senior leadership of the Ephesian church. In the end, they became “out of joint”, not only with their Pastor, but with the entire congregation. Here is what Paul’s words in 1 Timothy could say: “Some among you have become like a bone out of joint – a source of real pain and irritation to the whole Body”.
A sincere act of repentance can snap “out of joint” people back into their rightful place so that they can begin to function properly and become productive members of the church. But no one can make them repent and get their attitude right. It’s a decision only they have the power to make. Once they make this decision, they can again become a benefit and joy to everyone around them.
If you know of or have become a “bone out of joint” in your home, workplace, in the church or in any other area of your life, do everything you can to “snap yourself back” into the godly attitude and behavior you ought to be displaying. Get back in place, for you have a divine call to fulfill! Your gifts, talents, and cooperation are needed by those who are running their spiritual race alongside you!
MY PRAYER FOR YOU TODAY:
“Father, in the name of Jesus, Lord, help me to never be viewed as an argumentative, belligerent, disagreeable person by those who know me – especially by those who are working with me toward a common goal. If I’ve done anything to be perceived this way, I am sincerely asking You, Father, to forgive me right now. But I know that I don’t just need Your forgiveness; I also need to ask for forgiveness from those who felt uncomfortable with my wrong behavior so that my relationship with them can be made right. I need Your help to keep a right attitude, Lord, so I am asking You to help me to stay open-minded and correctable. Help me always maintain a humble spirit and to strive to get along with the key people You have assigned and placed in my life. I do not want to blow my place with destiny. I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, as You always allow me to minister from a position of Peace, Power, Prosperity and Wisdom. Amen.”
MY CONFESSION FOR YOU TODAY:
“Father, I thank You that the Holy Spirit loves me! He thinks of me, dreams of me, and wants to fill me with His Presence and power. The Holy Spirit was sent into this world to be my Helper, my Guide, my Teacher, and my Leader. Therefore, I am learning to lean on Him and to let Him lead me through all my affairs in this life. I surrender to Him, yield to Him, and depend on Him for everything I need. I’m never alone and I have the peace of God because of the Holy Spirit. I decree this confession and declare it to be so, in Jesus’ name!”
Remember, Leaders: stay focused, stay encouraged, and stay on your assignment!
Anthony D Shannon, Sr.
Pastor, Teacher, and Prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ