14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
A little farther down, we read:
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Even though this is a message to a young pastor, this is also a message to us. One of the blessings of being together with friends is that yesterday morning we started with devotions. My mind was already feeling pretty down about myself because my insecurities were on my mind. We looked at the passage above. The question from the devotional was: “Would God define you as a good worker?”
Each of my friends shared what was on their hearts and minds after hearing the passage and the devotional thought, but I would like to share a bit of what was on my mind hearing this question.
Too often I am really hard on myself. However, it is not my definition that matters. It is God’s. Even though God calls us to great things, his definition of a good worker is not the same as mine. I am too rough on myself. By trusting God, I am able to discover he offers me grace where I don’t always offer myself grace. By trusting God, I am able to accept it’s not the world’s definitions that matter either.
We are to present ourselves to God for approval. Paul was in prison about to die while he was writing to Timothy, a young pastor. Paul wanted Timothy to know the importance of knowing the truth and presenting the truth to others in love. He wanted Timothy to be holy and lead his people on the path of holiness. A Lord’s servant, as we see in verse 24, is not to be quarrelsome but kind. We should be able to teach with our lives and our words, not in a rude or hurtful way, but a way that’s characterized by kindness. Trusting God–and any encounter with Christ–changes our lives.