“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:3-5.
Pride can be laid at the feet of these two horrible sins. They are like Pandora’s Box; when opened, they release all manner of plagues upon mankind. May God set us free from these self-diluting and destructive sins.
How prone we are to infer without sufficient or conclusive evidence. It means we have an idea or opinion about people without having all the facts. This is called “evil surmising,” and is rooted in personal ignorance and pride. It usually ends as gossip and the destruction of the other person’s reputation. Other words that fit this category are: Conjecture, guess, infer, presume, speculate, suspect, theorize, imagine, and presuppose. If you listen closely, you will hear others, and yourself committing this sin today.
The twin sin is that of “doting” by questioning everything and disputing about the use of words. Recently, I posted a blog titled Will You Enter The Kingdom. I receive an email dripping with sarcasm, which said, “I thought the Bible said ‘inherit’ instead of ‘enter’.” These people lie in wait to catch you in a verbal slip so they can glory in their pride. Jesus had to deal with this crowd constantly.
Many of you know grandparents who do nothing but dote upon their grandchildren. You can’t send your children to Grandma’s house for one night without having the children returned, spoiled and rotten. They are given everything they want. They return with a bag of new toys, a bag of new clothes, and a bellyache from all the cookies and candy. In other words, the grandparents were obsessed with the children. They gave every moment of every day to doting on them. Perhaps it was the grandparents who were sick!
It is interesting to note that the word “dote” implies to be sick or diseased. Vine’s Word Studies says it, “Signifies “to be ill, to be ailing,” whether in body or mind; hence, “to be taken with such a morbid interest in a thing as is tantamount to a disease, to dote,” 1 Tim. 6:4 (marg., “sick”). The primary meaning of “dote” is to be foolish (cp. Jer. 50:36, the evident meaning of noseō, in this respect, is “to be unsound.”
Many of God’s people have freed themselves from outward vices of the flesh. However, an equal number are guilty of the two most destructive sins in Scripture, and commit them on regular basis. So, don’t be guilty of “doting” or “surmising.”
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.