2 Timothy 3:6-7
This group, you see, includes those who worm their way into people’s houses and ensnare foolish women who are overwhelmed with their sins and are pulled and pushed by all kinds of desires, always learning but never able to arrive at the truth.
There are three states of mind which will make you susceptible to cults, false teachings, and false religions. These states will severely inhibit your discernment in life.
Now in Paul’s specific context, there were some (not all) women who were particularly vulnerable to these jerk-face false teachers preying upon them. But I think it is obvious that the principles apply and speak to all of us, men and women alike, across the centuries.
Being overwhelmed with your sin or burdened with guilt.
Some of us are so loaded down, that we literally can’t think straight. It can get to the point of wanting escape from this bondage so badly, that you’ll fall for any teaching that seems promising for relief. With Jesus, there is no guilt or burden because he took it. It is we who choose to carry it, or believe false preachers who work to make us feel horrible. About our sins, our past, and ourselves. Jesus is glad to take your guilt away, and renew your spirit.
Pulled and pushed by all kinds of desires.
Desire is not bad in and of itself, but being enslaved to our desires is pretty sucky because they become our master controllers instead of God. They dictate where we go and what we do, and aren’t always kind about it. We become focused on “What I’m going to do next”, and that determines our day, crushing our ability to discern God’s will and what the Spirit might want us to do next because we can’t hear the still small voice over the roar and screaming of our self-serving desires. Oh how many people and God-opportunities we miss when desire is obnoxiously in the driver’s seat!
Always learning but never able to arrive at the truth.
How ironic, and yet how common. Always looking for the next thing, the newest idea, to learn, to try. We have already arrived at the truth and its name is Jesus Christ. The search is over. But seeking continues indefinitely, because we cannot exhaust or master God or the truth of God. We do keep mining, meditating, applying, deepening, absorbing. But we need not keep searching for the truth. Or for methods. We just keep listening. And out of that can come all sorts of great things–maybe even methods.
God is not looking for better methods, but for men and women sold out to Him.
We are not to be running to and fro, tossed about on the waves of the latest doctrine, dogma, or religion. Rather, we are to be deepening our relationship with God through Jesus the King.