A Hard Verse to Swallow
Do you ever wish a certain verse wasn’t in the Bible? There are several verses I would like to remove from my Bible, and 2 Timothy 2:24-25 would be at the top of my list.
“The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but be gentle– kind to everyone!“
Everyone? Yes…everyone! And if that’s not enough conviction for one day, it continues to say:
“Apt to teach . . .“
This seem pretty innocent on the surface but the phrase, “apt to teach” carries the idea of being a learner first, of being teachable. It took God many years to chip off those rough edges in me…and He’s still chipping away. Looking back, my maverick tendencies and unyielding spirit to authority prevented me from experiencing victory over the next part of Paul’s teaching to Timothy:
“Patiently enduring evil!“
Patiently enduring evil? I have a hard enough time patiently enduring traffic, let alone evil! In the Greek this means literally “bearing evil without resentment.” Can you understand why I would like to remove this verse from the Bible? I can put up with evil once in a while, but I’m not going to like it. When we finally recognize that our lives are not our own, then and only then will we be able to live out the truth of this verse.
Paul continues his hard-to-swallow teaching stating:
“In humility, correcting those who oppose.“
I was reminded this week on several fronts that there is a lot of work yet to be done in my life. Change doesn’t occur by hoping; it starts by practicing kindness:
“The servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to everyone…“