We were in 2 Timothy 2:14 – 26. What I noticed is that paragraph is built on four statements. Three of which are in contrast with the fourth. Three of the statements command avoiding some action. The last commands action. In each statement the action named has a consequence the first three negative the last positive. Here they are:
|Verse||Command||Action||Result of Action|
|14||Do not||Wrangle about Words||Leads to the ruin of the hearers|
|16||Avoid||Worldly and empty chatter||Leads to ungodliness|
|23||Refuse||Foolish and ignorant speculations||Leads to quarrels|
|24 – 25||Not to quarrel, but (Technically not imperative but the verb δει, it is necessary, carries some of the weight of an imperative.)||be kind, teach, be patient||Leads to the knowledge of the truth|
Those relationships are significant. One might be able to line the three or four requirements of 24 – 25 alongside the commands, but that may be a stretch. The contrast though is stark. What we choose to say should be intentionally meant to gently teach rather than argue. Not an easy assignment, at least not for me.
But there is a further lesson here. I would highly suggest that if you are able to discover what passages your pastor is studying or speaking from, study them yourself before you hear him speak. It will radically change what you hear. Plus, if your pastor knows that a significant number of men in your congregation are studying the passage from which he is speaking, I can guarantee that it will impact positively what he says about that passage.