In II Timothy 2: 24-26, Paul says to Timothy, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
I inserted a few explanatory changes: “The servant of the Lord must not argue with them, but be gentle to everybody, ready and able to teach, patient (there’s that ‘putting up with them’ again), humbly instructing those who oppose (you, God, themselves); maybe God will give them repentance to the recognition and acceptance of the truth, so they can withdraw themselves from the trap of the devil, by whom they are taken captive to do his will.”
Do you feel the built-in love that is contained in this verse? It follows the “Love Chapter” I Corinthians 13. ‘Don’t argue with them’; that’s the part about not demanding your own way. ‘Gentle’; that’s all about being kind, not irritable or grouchy, not boastful or proud or rude. ‘Ready and able to teach’; willing to put up with them ‘not getting it’ and continuing to tell them the truth, to rejoice in the truth. ‘Humbly instructing’; when they say something mean and tacky, you don’t have to gig ‘em back; because the Spirit in you can believe the best for them, hope the best for them, and never give up praying for them.
What do you think . . .what do you do?
1] If the point, the theme, of this story is discipleship, how does that “putting-up-with-them” love fit into the discipleship process?
2] How many different ways do we show God’s kind of love as we teach others to be disciples, to make disciples, and to teach disciples?
3] How many different aspects of I Corinthians 13 love do we see in this passage?