Today’s reading gives us the patterns of a Godly man. Paul is exhorting Timothy to “be strong” (v1), but Paul doesn’t stop there. He gives us relatable examples of what it means to “be strong”.
Paul gives us the example of the teacher, the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer, then he commissions Timothy to “think over what [he said]”. The examples are not long and exhaustive but Paul promises Timothy that “the Lord will give [him] understanding in everything” if he thinks over it. (2Timothy 2:7)
A wise man once said, “better to read little and think much than to read much and think little.” Today’s journal entry includes some thoughts and reflections on these short powerful examples. I would love if you would share some of yours in the comments or on facebook.
The Teacher. Christ instructed us to teach His commandments to all nations and modeled this for us through discipleship. (Matthew 28:20) . Discipleship is a chain. Position yourself in the chain, between someone who will disciple you and who you can disciple. Those you disciple should be carefully selected people who are faithful and trustworthy to carry on the chain. (2Timothy 2:2)
The Soldier. We are at war. The soldier is not confused about work-life balance. The two are integrated and his purpose is singular. Full of integrity, his life is whole and complete. There are no situations in which he changes modes or leaves something behind. There is no clocking out. A soldier at war is always on active duty. He does not concern himself with things of the world. His eye is single in the battle and pleasing his commander. (2Timothy 2:3-4)
The Athlete. It is a given that athletics require effort. Even though some athletes have incredible natural abilities, fans tend to cheer on an underdog who gives it his all over the more skilled athlete who doesn’t. Fans tend to gravitate to athletes who are ok with giving it their all and being beaten, even if it means everyone knows they could not have done any better or given an ounce more effort. An athlete looks at the cost of defeat and competes anyways. Humble athletes are fun to watch. Still, even though effort is a given for athletics, no matter the effort expended, if the athlete breaks the rules he is disqualified. (2Timothy 2:5)
The Farmer. The farmer is hard working. This word is from a Greek verb meaning ‘to labor to the point of exhaustion.’ Day in, day out the farmer works amidst circumstances outside their control. The farmer can not control the water, the bugs, the temperature, the sun, the clouds, or the shifting seasons, yet he works to the point of exhaustion in hopes that he might reap a harvest. A farmer is truly seasoned in the art of sowing to the LORD and trusting Him with the harvest. (2Timothy 2:6)
May we all continue to think over the Scripture and trust in the LORD to give us understanding.
Reading quote reference: Mastering Self: To Lead Self and Others by Chief Hanna