But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5
I often see things on social media about the various types of goal people have set for themselves. I see Mom Goals and Dad Goals and (the one I understand least) Squad Goals. In the midst of all of these goals, I encountered the goal of Paul’s teachings summarized in this verse. Not just Paul, this is a summary of God’s goals for me.
First, God is looking to teach me to love. To love as God loves is no easy task and that goal alone would be worthy, but God continues.
Second, God wants His love to proceed from a pure heart. This means that He must purify my heart and teach me to maintain that purity of heart.
Not only this, but God wants me to have a good conscience. I think this can be understood two ways. I understand this as it is probably commonly understood, as my conscience having nothing against me and therefore not bothering me. We might call this a clean conscience. But I also understand this as a conscience that is good in quality. Modern America does much to damage a person’s conscience. This nation once had good, solid morals. Now? Not so much. God wants to make sure that my conscience is good, not damaged by the world.
Lastly, God wants me to have a sincere faith. The word that is here rendered sincere could actually be rendered without hypocrisy. God wants an unfeigned faith; a genuine faith. This is important, because anything less than an unfeigned faith is going to fall to pieces when life is challenging.
Love from a pure heart and a good conscience and an unfeigned faith. Those are God’s goals for me.