by Rob Globke

    1 Timothy 6:20a
    "Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care.” (NIV)

    I‘m sure most of you have noticed that in the playoffs, the intensity of play seems to pick up quite a bit. This goes for all aspects of the game including the savage defense guys are willing to play in order to keep the puck out of their net. If you were to take someone from Mars and have him watch playoff hockey as the first thing they do, they would probably think to themselves, “these humans are a crazy bunch of folks!!”

    Yes, hockey players are a crazy bunch. Just watch some of the playoff games with shot blocking in mind. Guys are willing to go face first in front of a puck if it means preventing a goal. On scrambles in front of the net, you will see two and three guys sprawling everywhere to get the “opportunity” to block a puck from hitting the twine. The phrase, “protecting the house”, takes on a whole new meaning when you watch hockey players defend their ability to make it another game chasing Stanley’s Cup. So yes, there is something crazy about this, but there is also something beautiful. Something we as Christians would do well to emulate in life off the ice.

    We need to have that same mentality when it comes to our faith. In the first part of 1 Timothy 6:20, the wise old owl is passing on indispensable wisdom to his young friend Timothy. He tells him to “GUARD what [God] has entrusted to his care.” Paul tells this to Timothy as he faces opposition from all sides. People who are telling him to relax on his set of beliefs. Groups who were tempting him to believe in myths and other controversies (1 Tim. 1:4). These people wanted Timothy to give up what he thought was true and right and good. Timothy was being barraged and probably was just looking for a line change.

    So, Paul writes this sentence at the end of his letter to Timothy to encourage him, to remind him, that GUARDING the truth of the gospel is of the utmost importance. Paul is not talking about getting your stick in the lane or just trying to get in front of the puck. Paul is telling Timothy to be willing to take a puck in the face if it means keeping what is false from his life and the life of the church. The big question is….

    Do we GUARD what is true like we block shots in the playoffs?

    Maybe sometimes we do, but maybe sometimes we don’t. We will never be perfect on this side of eternity, that is for sure. But, we can strive to be perfect as Jesus calls us to at the end of Matthew 5. It may hurt, it may cost a great deal. It may be exhausting having to GUARD our hearts with this much tenacity day in and day out, but we must try. Cause the stakes are much greater than a Stanley Cup. The stakes are life and death.

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