22. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
24. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25. In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26. And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
In these verses Paul is instructing Timothy, and us, what a Christian leader is supposed to do/how to act. So, instead of breaking them up verse by verse, I am going to list all of the things that a Christian leader should be, and then talk about each one.
- Flee from youthful lusts
- follow righteousness
- avoid foolish and unlearned questions
- do not strive
- be gentle
- apt to teach
- in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves
The second one is, "follow righteousness." What does it mean to follow righteousness? In my mind it means to live for God, not taking a wrong path, sticking to what you are supposed to do (i.e. righteous things), pray, trust God always, etc.
Number three is, "faith." Faith in God, trusting in God unconditionally.
Next is, "charity" or "love." What does that mean? I think that Paul means two things in this one. Not for us to only love God, but to also love everyone else around us. To "seek...the highest good of our fellow man."*
The next one is, follow "peace." What does that mean? I think that it means not to get into worthless arguments, to have "peace" with all, but especially those of the church.
At the end of the first verse it says, "with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart." So, after it says to flee youthful lusts, follow righteousness, faith, charity, and peace; it says to do it with other Christians! Paul clearly says that we are not alone! We are doing these hard things with other Christians!
The fifth one is, "but foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes," or "Have nothing to do with foolish and stupid arguments, for you know that they only breed quarrels. So, the Christian leader, must not get into arguments that are useless/foolish/stupid/unlearned, for they are harmful, they "breed quarrels" they ask for a fight. Just like my Mom tells the younger kids who are arguing, "you're asking for a fight," or "you're asking for trouble."
The next one is kind of confusing, it says that he "must not strive." Strive for what? Well, in the other version it says that he "must not ask for a fight." Just like the last one! A Christian leader must be self-controlled.
Number six says, "but be gentle unto all men." A Christian leader must not only not ask for a fight, but be gentle to all men. What does all men mean? All men! Even your enemies. He must be gentle unto all.
Next is, "apt to teach." The Christian leader must be able to not only understand the word of God, but also to teach it to others.
The seventh is, "patient." He must be patient. Have you ever taught someone something hard, like, how to read? It takes time, doesn't it? Well, when a Christian leader is teaching people about God, and what He says, and about Jesus Christ; then he must be patient, because they might not get it on the first time. Also, he must be patient in the way that, he might get ridiculed or teased, or even beat up or thrown in prison; but he must be patient. John Bunyan is a good example of this, I am going to write a book review on here sometime, about the book that we read about him.** He was is prison for over a decade, and yet, he never denied Christ, and he wrote a book for every year of his life.
The last one is, "in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth." So, in gentleness/meekness/kindness a Christian leader must instruct those who oppose him. I like what Barclay says about this part, "He must discipline his opponents in gentleness; his hand like the hand of a surgeon, unerring to find the diseased spot, yet never for a moment causing unnecessary pain. He must love men, not batter them, into submission to the truth."
Lastly, Paul says, "if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." What does that mean? It means that, we don't know who God has chosen, so we must teach all, we must spread the love of Christ all over the place! Why? Because God might give them repentance if they acknowledge the truth, and they get out of the trap of the devil.
Well, thanks for reading! Tomorrow we shall start chapter three! We are halfway through 2nd Timothy. God bless! ~Buttercup~
*Commentary by William Barclay, The letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.
**The Pilgrim Who Made Progress, I will post about that book soon!