• Elpidio Pezzella

The suspect


But you, man of God, flee these things. 1 Timothy 6:11a (NKJV)

Speaking of "suspicion" gives rise to thinking of something ambiguous, not clean, which affects any relationship of trust. In fact, when you have suspicions of someone starting to look at it differently, to pay more attention. But no suspicion is without a reason. It is usually always provoked by an action, even if it is often insinuated by third parties. Here is precisely "insinuate". There are few words as subtle as to insinuate. The origin of the verb is in the Latin sinus, a word that indicates a recess, a fold, an inlet precisely, such as to arrive even to the soul. The action of insinuate is like leaving the horse to Troy, introducing a "danger" between the most intimate and intimate folds. Paul warned Timothy to pay attention to those elements that they considered "piety as a source of income", because the pride of them would have generated exclusively "envy, contention, slander, bad suspicions, uneasy discussions". Wanting to stick to the Pauline guidelines, let's try to estimate the others for the roles they play and in the case of believers do everything with the greatest effort. Pity and not duty should be the burning flame that animates our relationships. Especially those who hold positions of responsibility in the teaching and proclamation of the gospel must abide by "consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness" (6:3), otherwise "he is a proud knowing anything "(6:4). No other interest or motivation can and must animate our work, because, as already asserted, only "envy, contention, slander, bad suspicions, uneasy discussions" will emerge. I hope that you do not find yourself in similar situations or that you are spending your energies to face some corrupt person "of mind and without truth". We leave room for piety. Alas, behind apparent arguments around the truth or the defense of some principle, most often there are only opportunism and the search for "a source of income". May echo the words of Paul, and each of us take the place of Timothy in making them his own: "And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition" (6:8-9). It takes very little for the flock entrusted to pastoral care to move away: a slight doubt that creeps, little by little, usually mild and silent, so often in an occult and sibylline, sometimes avoiding prudence, and for lack of discernment exposing itself to ability and dexterity of some. Just as the sea creeps into the cave, as the light breeze creeps into the sleeves, the suspicion undermines the pastoral relationship. On the other hand, if it strikes non-believers, it immediately makes them opponents, because the sharp suspicion immediately provokes an idea or a feeling of aversion. Who knows if when the Master talked about a scandal, he included those situations, even unintended ones, that produce or feed suspects? It will also be true that some see the rotten everywhere, being naturally suspicious. And if the apostles remind the Corinthians that love believes everything, it does not mean that they are gullible. We should all be more inclined to always consider the good, and in all circumstances offer the opportunity to represent their positions. Certainly the apostle's lock that "the love of money is the root of every kind of evils; and some who have given themselves to it have gone astray from the faith and have acquired many pains", keep us well alerted to let the guard down. Unfortunately when problems arise there is almost always the vile money. Devotional 47/2018 Weekly Bible reading plan November 19 Ezekiel 11-13; James 1 November 20 Ezekiel 14-15; James 2 November 21 Ezekiel 16-17; James 3 November 22 Ezekiel 18-19; James 4 November 23 Ezekiel 20-21; James 5 November 24 Ezekiel 22-23; 1Peter 1 November 25 Ezekiel 24-26; 1Peter 2 ___ November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The daily news requires us not only a reflection on this, but a reworking of widespread thinking and a commitment to the defense of all women.

Photo by Ria Hills, www.freeimages.com

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