Follow the Leader?

New York Magazine ran an article in January 2018 entitled Yet Another Person Listens to GPS App and Drives Car Into Lake. The story reads:

“A driver in Vermont steered his car right into Lake Champlain on Friday. The driver says he was using navigation app Waze, which apparently insisted that driving into the lake was the right way to go. “The app directed the drivers to turn onto the boat launch near the Coast Guard station,” the Burlington Free Press reports. “By the time they realized what was happening, the car had slid 100 feet onto the lake. The three people in the car managed to climb out.” Another passenger in the car described conditions as “dark and foggy.” The car remained at the bottom of the lake before it could be retrieved by divers. A Google spokesperson said that it would be “impossible to comment here without seeing the user’s driving file,” and that the company hadn’t “received permission to do so.” She also reminded people that while using Waze, they should still “use all environmental information available to them to make the best decisions as they drive.” As in, if it looks like a lake and quacks like a lake, don’t drive into it because it’s a lake. The unnamed driver certainly isn’t the first person to blindly follow technology to a watery end. In June 2017, there was a guy who drove into a lake in Massachusetts and blamed his GPS. He’s joined by a woman in Ontario who similarly navigated into a pond and … blamed her GPS.”[1]

In 2 Timothy 3, Paul had given a detailed description of false teachers who sought to lead people astray spiritually. Like the GPS that led the Vermont driver into Lake Champlain, these false teachers were leading believers away from truth into grievous error. Paul’s clear purpose was the danger that the church in Ephesus and Timothy were in. The warnings signs were there, and we still need to be vigilant even today. But beginning in verse 10, Paul began to turn things around and point to a positive example–himself. Paul is a faithful leader, one who will assure that Timothy is on the right path. 

This call by Paul to Timothy to continue to follow his example acts as a strong counteraction against the false teachers from verses 1-9. The activities of the deceivers are to be replaced by the continue example of Timothy as he followed the Apostle Paul. “You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness,” (2 Timothy 3:10, ESV)

The verb “followed” (‘fully known” in KJV) means to give careful attention to something, “to conform to someone’s belief or practice by paying special attention, to follow faithfully, follow as a rule.”[2]

Paul had been ministering for years, but there was a need for Timothy to be faithful to practice what had been modeled for him so that he would be able to set an example for those who would follow him in the Church. The need is great for leaders in the church–for mentors and those who are growing as they follow biblical leaders. Let me ask you–who are you following? Are they leading you into greater godliness, holiness, and love for Christ? And probably more importantly, where are they leading you? Do you have a biblical mentor? And as a follow-up, are you acting as a biblical mentor for someone?


[2] BDAG, parakoloutheo.

One thought on “Follow the Leader?

  1. Pingback: Follow the Leader? (weekend repost) | Always Reforming

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