II Tim 2:22-26: “Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 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.”
Paul is speaking to Timothy about the purity that he as a Christ-follower should have. Paul, in a few verses before states that we can become useful vessels for the Lord’s use. He gives Timothy some sound advice for a young man when he says to flee from youthful lusts and pursue the things of God; righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Paul is instructing on Timothy how to behave and how a Christ-follower should act. For one thing, a Christ-follower should be a person of Faith. That refers to one fully trusting in the Lord’s direction in life. Walking by faith and not by sight is a hard thing to do. However, we can only please God if we live by faith. Faith is trusting in the Lord’s instructing even if our flesh does not like it.
Paul also commands Timothy to be gentle. The way we interact with each other is a display of God’s power in our lives. Walking in a spirit of Humility and placing others before yourself is the mark of a Christian. Jesus displayed this servant leadership when he placed a towel around Himself and washed the feet of His disciples. The humility of lowering oneself is beautifully displayed in the life of Christ. Yes, He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, yet His life was defined as a life of gentleness and humility. How much more do we need these qualities in our lives!
Paul goes on to mention a third aspect, that which calls for us to be vessels to be used by Jesus. This is the idea of speaking the truth in love. Many of us, myself included, have no problem speaking the truth. We need to correct and rebuke in the spirit of Love. Never thinking that we are better then they, but rather in gentleness and truth brining them to a place that God can use for a true repentance. Being a useful vessel is our goal. As Christ-followers we strive to improve those areas in which we are lacking. We need to live and behave just like Jesus.
Digging Deeper: Gal 5:22-26
Old Testament: Jer. 25-26 New Testament II Tim. 3