All week, as we edged closer to today, Friday the Thirteenth, I've seen many posts on social media saying something like, "No, I'm not superstitious. I am a little stitious, though." That seems to sum up a lot of people. To be fair, many are outright superstitious; I have an aunt, for example, who is terrified of Friday the Thirteenths (so, naturally, I remind her of all of them). Most people aren't that bad, but they still get uneasy when a black cat crosses their path, they refuse to walk under ladders, breaking a mirror definitely brings seven years of bad luck, etc.
I think that's part of being human. We're all aware of the larger spiritual world, but when we try to ignore that reality, our innate awareness instead gets twisted into superstition. (Or an episode of The-X Files.) This was as true in Paul's day as it is today. For this reason, he writes this to Timothy: "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly" (1 Timothy 4:7). People in the church around Timothy had forsaken the truth about our world and instead pursued myths and old wives' tales. They had grown superstitious, believing in things other than the power of God.
What was the fix? Being trained in godliness. How does that happen? A good place to start is found in Paul's second letter to Timothy: "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim 3:16-17, emphasis added). Our training begins with the training manual, and from there it grows into good works. As we grow closer to God, we get farther away from silly superstitions. We have nothing to fear if our souls belong to Jesus. "No power of hell, no scheme of man" can ever separate us from the One who saved us by His grace.
Even on Friday the Thirteenth.