“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:24-25
In the wake of the political uncertainty and the cultural confusion of today’s society, how do we as Church leaders respond?
Well, from the looks of social media, I can tell you how many of us are responding – we are ticked, and to some degree rightly so. After all, religious freedoms are continually and increasingly under attack. Political options reflecting Christian values are becoming more and more rare. The world is twisting the truth of Christianity and if believers don’t fight back, what will happen?
I’m not sure what will happen in the immediate future, but I do know that our response to our lost world matters to God. Continually throughout the Scriptures, believers are challenged to respond to society in a way reflective of the amazing love and grace we have received from God. We are called to respond in a way reflective of God’s love for the world. We need to be very careful not to allow our theology of self-preservation prevent us from displaying the theology of John 3:16-17.
That thought hit me the other day when I read 2 Timothy 2:24-25:
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth."
This wasn’t the first time that Paul communicated such truth. In his previous letter to Timothy, he explains that those selected to be elders in the church should have a good reputation with those outside the church (1 Tim 3:7).
This way of living isn’t restricted to mere church leadership. Peter also communicates this radical idea to the entirety of the Christian community (1 Peter 2:11-17). He actually tells us to honor everyone even the emperor. Such a command is even more unbelievable when we consider the political leadership of Paul and Peter’s day when they were writing to these saints.
So, as we respond to a hostile world, let us not forget what our parents and Sunday teachers taught us when we were kids. Because of Jesus’ work in our lives and the undeserved grace he showed us sinners, let us:
- be kind,
- be patient
- be gentle
Let us not only preach the sovereignty of God, but also let us trust in God’s sovereignty ourselves and not lean on our own emotional responses.