Sunday, June 29, 2014

Message to Timothy and Me

Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness—faith, love, peace—joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God. Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights. God’s servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool, working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth, enabling them to escape the Devil’s trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands."  2 Timothy 22-26  The Message

Paul suffers in prison � again � this time just before his execution. Rembrandt, detail of St. Paul in Prison (1627). Oil on panel, 73x60 cm., Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart.Here is a passage from instructions that an imprisoned Paul wrote to Timothy. The day and the culture were vastly different from ours in many ways, yet truth is eternal and immutable.  This speaks to me today; would that it would speak loud and clear to all who attach the name of Christ to their belief system.  We are called to be gentle listeners and cool teachers, firm and patient in our work for the Lord.  We are not called to be hammers or cudgels.

(If your preference in scripture is the King James, or the NIV, or some other version, go there and read the passage.  It will say the same thing, different wording perhaps.  But the charge is the same.) 

Image: Detail from Rembrandt's St. Paul in Prison

6 comments:

KC Bob said...

"Run after mature righteousness"

Love that!

vanilla said...

KC Bob, I like the amplification provided by the adjective, too.

Marsha Young said...

To be gentle listeners and cool teachers - now there is a worthy goal! :)

vanilla said...

Marsha, would that the followers of Christ strive toward the goal.

Sharkbytes said...

Thanks! Those are words I needed this week.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, so the title might have been "Message to Timothy, Joan, and Me."

Hope your week is a great one!