Verse: ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭22‬-‭26‬ 
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.”

In this final letter that Paul is writing to Timothy , he is summarizing the essential elements of faithful Christian ministry. Paul specifically notes in v. 22-24 that followers of Christ should be actively avoiding controversies and quarrels among other situations that usually arise from pride. Instead we should be pursuing “righteousness, faith, love, and peace”. The important word in that verse is pursue. This does not indicate that we remain in a state of contentment. Rather, we should be actively working towards maintaining these traits.

Paul continues with noting that we should be kind to everyone, able to teach, and patiently enduring evil by correcting his opponents with gentleness. When he says we should be kind to everyone; that is not conditional. Paul is very intentional with his words; we should show kindness to EVERYONE regardless of any situation, political view point, etc. We should be prepared to continue to teach and let God use us to display his goodness. We should not be condemning of non-believers; but rather ensure we are sharing the truth in love appropriately. This gentleness that Paul indicates is necessary and so relevant present day. I constantly hear of individuals that want nothing to do with “religion” due to the way they were treated in the past. We all come from different walks of life and certainly are in no place to cast judgement.

Paul wraps up this set of verses by indicating that we should implement this framework with everyone we come in contact with. No one is “too far gone” for Jesus to reach them. The ever-so popular verse of John 3:16 is pretty clear that who-so-ever believes shall not perish, but have ever lasting life. And when you pair that with the parable of the prodigal son of Luke 15, it is clear from more than one spot in the text that we should not be writing anyone off. We should be living our lives in a way that Jesus is shining through every action and word. I challenge you to pray regularly for ways that you can share the good news of Jesus with those around you. In those conversations, ensure you are not being hyper critical of the person, but rather building a foundational friendship that allows for honest conversations. If you don’t feel comfortable with speaking with others about your faith yet, I challenge you to strengthen your spiritual disciplines. Work on scripture memory, prayerful habits, etc. get involved in a small group with other believers so you can continue growing with them.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for all that you have done and are doing in our lives. Lord I ask for opportunities to share of your good news. Strength and wisdom to improve our spiritual disciplines. And discernment to help us avoid unnecessary and petty situations. In your heavenly name I pray,  Amen.

Author: Justin Artymenko