• Joshua D McVey

Wah, Wah, Wah

In the Charlie Brown cartoons the teacher is depicted as saying wah, wah, wah, basically meaningless chatter.

Paul addresses a letter in the New Testament to a young minister named Timothy. There is a problem in a church located in Ephesus. It's a Wah, Wah, Wah, problem.

I once worked for a contractor who knew nothing about landscape or building things. He was the salesman who began a contracting company. He relied on his foreman to perform the tasks, while he set up the deals. The foreman didn't like the terms and left in the middle of a job.

Three other laborers and I had no idea what we were doing, but we were to dig post holes for a fence. The salesman had to save the job, so he came out and lined off the fence. We spent the entire day digging holes along the line we were given. Unfortunately, we ran into the neighbors property and the fence line was not correctly aligned. We also set four posts in concrete.

The next day we had to dig the posts back up. The fence also had to be realigned, so all those post holes were wasted. To make matters worse, the fence was measured incorrectly and we didn't have enough panels to finish the job.

The fourth day the fence line had to be adjusted again to compensate the panel shortage. That's three days of wasted digging. Three sets of post holes. Triple the work.

We had wasted our time on meaningless work.

I love text messaging. It gets to the point. Calling someone requires pleasantries, I don't mind those, but sometimes you just need a 'yes' or 'no' answer. I have been known to ramble, I have also known others who like to ramble and give more information than you requested. It becomes a bunch of wah wah wah when you only needed a simple answer.

There is an old television show called 'Dragnet'. The detective would always say, "Just the facts ma'am." Let's keep it simple.

If you could boil the gospel down to a few words, what would they be?

Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is (Matt 22:36-40). He says it is to love God, and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. He goes on to say everything hinges on these two commands. If you fulfill these two, you have fulfilled them all.

So, Paul has sent Timothy to Ephesus and asks him to, "command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith (I Timothy 1:3,4)."

They are focusing on the wrong things. They are creating controversies.

What's the point?

Men at the church in Ephesus are using these studies of genealogies and myths to elevate themselves. They want to be credited with knowing more than anyone else. They have the secret sauce, as if the Gospel is a secret. In verse seven Paul confirms this by saying, "They want to be teachers of the law but don't know what they are talking about (1 Timothy 1:7)."

Paul states that the law is for the lawless, not the righteous. These guys know so much about the law because they need it the most (1 Timothy 1:9).

Like the Pharisees, they are piling burdens on the people's backs and shut the Kingdom of heaven in men's faces, when they have not entered the Kingdom themselves (Matthew 23:13).

I have seen this today. Individuals who pride themselves in their knowledge of the Bible, theology, genealogies, and far fetched ideas based on minute pieces of scripture.

Paul uses himself as an example. He was a Hebrew of Hebrews (Philippians 3:5). Yet, God had mercy on him. "I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief (1 Timothy 1:13b)."

Now, these men who boast in their knowledge are only causing controversies in the church. All their knowledge equates to wah, wah, wah. It's wasted time on useless information. Use that energy to make a difference in the lives of people around you.

The Gospel is easy. Love God and Love others.

Those two commands will flip this world upside down. That's discipleship. Every day commit to loving God and loving others better than you did the day before. That's the Gospel.

When you hear the "Wah, wah, wah, . . " Do like Charlie Brown and say, "Oh, good grief!"

In His service and yours,


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