Wednesday, May 18, 2005

2 Timothy 2:14-26

I really enjoy teaching. I look forward to our Wednesday night Bible study with the teenagers. I get such a rush out of studying the Bible with them. But what is a teacher? A teacher, at least a teacher as described by Paul in this letter to Timothy, is someone who helps others understand when they are confused. We are all called by Jesus to be teachers. We are all called to help those confused understand the Truth.

Now this is a simple lesson. In fact it is so obvious that it might be considered the next thing we are called to do after the Jesus creed (1. Love God, 2. Love our neighbors as ourselves, 3. Go into the world and teach the good news). But Paul's letter to Timothy gives us instruction on how to teach. His instruction is vital to the success of our teaching.

When we teach the Truth we should be kind, gentle, patient, and courteous to our audience (or students). Listening to their questions and answering them with respect, but avoiding "quarreling about words", unimportant details, and "godless chatter", foolish discussions or arguments. All questions deserve a hearing but do not let them take you away from the points you are there to make.

The vast majority of the questions I find brought forth during a discussion about Jesus and/or the Bible are great and thought provoking. These may not be easy ones to answer but I look forward to trying. However, the questions that are either aimed at challenging the Bible or are meant to sidetrack the discussion need to be addressed as well, and with the same enthusiasm and courtesy as I address the other questions. Not simply dismissed. If I do this, and if you do this when you are teaching about Jesus, those who oppose us will be more willing to hear what we have to say. If they are willing to listen perhaps they can be redirected away from their error and towards God.

May God bless you,
Richard Leach

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