Verses 1 thru 5 contain a self-check list. Like my physical body needs a check-up against healthy physical statistics, so my soul needs a check-up against righteous thinking, attitude, and practice. “Lovers of themselves” means being selfish, that is loving myself more than God and others. “Lovers of money” means gaining wealth, power, and prestige at the expense of my relationship with God and others.
Evil people manipulate, use, and abuse others for their own benefit. When people are eager for what they can get and anxious to keep what they have, this makes them dangerous to others. If I do not love and fear God I am a threat to others.
Being religious is not a guard against corrupting my soul. I could have a form of godliness, a practice of religion, a fragrance of politeness, and yet deny the power of godliness (5). The power of godliness is the Spirit’s resurrection power to change my soul.
I should also be aware of others. I like watching movies and television shows. Some actors make others believe they are the character they play. However, they are not. They are very good at pretending to be someone else. There are better actors that live in the lens of their peer’s eyes than the lens of a camera. I should love them, without making them my friend.