The Apostle Paul, as he writes his final letter to his protégé Timothy, warns that in the last days there will be “terrible times.” Because the “last days” are simply that time between the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1) and the future return of Jesus (predicted in Revelation 19.11-21), we are in these “last days.”
Paul goes on to list 18 characteristics that define these days as “terrible.” As we read this list in verses 2-5, many of these characteristics feel pretty normal—such as being lovers of money or without self-control—and seem like a fairly common description of the culture in which we live.
One challenge we face is comparing ourselves to those around us, versus comparing ourselves with God’s standards of selflessness for our lives. We might look around and think, “I know I’m not perfect, but I’m way better than that guy.” This is a dangerous thought and can keep us blinded from addressing areas of our heart God would like to transform.
Today, take a moment for a spiritual audit. We recognize this is a bit of “heavy lifting,” but believe you’ll benefit from this exercise. Write down all 18 characteristics found in verses 2-5 in a column. Next to those phrases make three columns reading, “Never,” “Sometimes,” and “Always.” Take time to consider and mark down if any of these characteristics are normative for you, and ask God to help you replace it with selflessness.