2 Timothy 2:1–7: You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; 2and what you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well. 3Share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer. 5And in the case of an athlete, no one is crowned without competing according to the rules. 6It is the farmer who does the work who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in all things.
There are plenty of them, but this is one passage of scripture that seems new to me. I’m sure that I read it once, but it is not in the front part of the memory of my brain. Consider what Paul is saying to Timothy: Teach what you have learned about the faith to people who will be able to teach others.
Our faith, and our knowledge of it, is not something that we are to hide close to ourselves and keep secret. Our faith is something to be shared with people who can appreciate it and who will share it with others.
I think I remember hearing in my childhood, “Be a good soldier.” But I don’t remember whether it was spoken to me, or I heard it on TV or at a movie. It is a familiar phrase about being ready to do your duty even if you experience some pain in the process. Was Timothy willing to experience some pain for his faith? Are we?
Timothy must have had some familiarity with the military of his day. Otherwise the image of the enlisting officer would have no meaning. If you are a private or even a sergeant, it is not your job to try to do the general’s job. You do your job and trust that others are doing theirs.
Paul goes on to suggest that for Timothy there will be a reward such as a winning athlete’s crown. He also points out that a worker, just as the farmer, should receive the first share of the produce.
What I take away from this passage is that we, like Timothy, are supposed to share the faith with others, even if it causes us to experience some suffering, and that there is a reward to come.
PRAYER: Dear Lord God, please keep me faithful in the face of all the temptations in this life. Help me to hold firm to the belief that our faith is a treasure more valuable than all the treasures of this life. In your name I pray, Amen.