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2 Timothy 2:14-26 (ESV)
A Worker Approved by God
14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” 20 Now in a great house, there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
How do you know if you are “quarreling about words” or standing up against false teachers?
Lord, I want to be useful to you. I want to be faithful, loving, and easy to get along with. I pray that your love will overflow and that I will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. Deepen my relationship with You through Your Word and Spirit so that I can discern what really matters to You. Do not let me be swayed by things of this world that are contrary to Your Word and teachings. Help me to identify and evaluate the actions of false teachers to determine if their fruit is consistent with Your Word. Give me boldness to stand firm for what is right and reject those that are contrary to Your Word. Your Word is truth. Truth without love can be harsh, but love without truth is nothing but emotion. Lord, help me to speak with both Your truth and love. Help me to not be hypocritical and self-righteous. Keep me away from gossip and from judgmentalism, to avoid senseless controversies. Instead, let my words and actions consistently encourage, appreciate, respect, and demonstrate care so that I can be a powerful witness for You. In Your precious Name. Amen.