Let's Go Back to the Bible

Are Your Words Healthy?

You might be one of them, one of the many that take the opportunity of a new year to evaluate their health. This is not a bad idea but consider another point.  How is your teaching? Specifically, what you teach. Is it healthy?

We have all heard or read about “sound doctrine.” The word hugiaino, translated “sound,” literally means healthy in the New Testament. It is used today in a similar way when referring to those of sound mind. What we teach needs to be examined in light of some key passages.

Paul wrote to Titus with this imperative, “But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine” (Tit. 2:1). This is something we should consider. The words we speak concerning the truths of the Bible should be healthy. We should be careful not to propagate or promote untruths. It is easy to hear, read or post things that sound good but upon further inspection are not true. This is so important that it is among the qualifications of elders listed in Titus: “For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (1:7-9).

To Timothy Paul wrote, “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Tim. 6:3-5). When someone is purposefully not holding to healthy teaching, they are labeled as “conceited.” It is easy to see the opposite of healthy teaching in this passage.

Lastly, in his second letter to Timothy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (4:3-4). Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we say or teach. People will only hear what they want to hear. There are people who are looking for the truth. Sadly, there are more people who are looking for teaching based on their own desires. We should speak and teach truth, healthy doctrine.