Correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2
Many of us have the opportunity to gather in buildings dedicated to worship. Others will gather in the coldness of a prison cell or in a small, secret place, fearful of authorities. We need the fellowship of God’s people and the instruction of his Word. We need encouragement and the affirmation of belonging to something bigger than ourselves.
Mentors—those who guide others as they grow— are essential in the church, the family, and the workplace. They teach by word and example. As we journey in faith, an encouraging mentor makes all the difference. I still benefit today from being “shown the ropes” by someone who was skilled and committed.
Paul charged young Timothy to make the ministry of God’s Word his top priority. It wasn’t to be done just at opportune times, but at all times. It wasn’t to be so inoffensive as never to correct or rebuke. A surgeon uses an anesthetic but will also use a knife. Timothy was to correct, rebuke, and encourage. He was to do so with patience and accuracy, to encourage his listeners and warn them when they were tempted to follow false teachings.
People need God’s Word. People need encouragement. Knowing God’s Word, we share its teaching and affirmation. Like Timothy, preachers have no choice. And neither do we!
Dear God, thank you for Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Help us to be encouraged by Christ’s example of encouraging. Thank you for mentors along the way. Amen.
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