2Ti 2:14-16 “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
Early on in this chapter, Paul had told Timothy to commit the things he had heard from Paul to faithful men (2 Tim 2:2). He then went on to talk about enduring hardship and laboring in God’s kingdom. Paul told of the surety of Christ’s resurrection. He reminded Timothy of the steadfastness of Jesus’ faithfulness to us.
According to Strong’s, the word translated as “man” in verse two literally meant “man faced or human being.” So if we, whether male or female, are faithful to Christ, then these instructions are for us. It is desirable that, as we think on these wonderful things of God, we would want to speak with one another about them. The scripture tells us that “they who feared the Lord spake often one to another (Mal 3:16).”
While there are many things that we as Christians are, hopefully, going to readily agree on (the virgin birth, Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, God’s sovereignty, and man’s depravity, etc.), there are many things in the scripture that we may see a bit differently. We enjoy sitting down together, opening the scripture, and talking about these things. Sometimes we are blessed by God to gain deeper insights into His word as we share together.
However, when we disagree, it should be done with love and humility. We should never be so insistent on our perspective that we cause feelings to be hurt; we can, in love, agree to disagree. Striving over words is not a profitable endeavor. We are not going to glorify God by pursuing questions that gender strife.
Our goal should always be to strengthen our brethren. When we begin to strive over words, there is a real risk of doing damage to our audience. The leadership of the Holy Spirit is imperative, and should be prayed for, when we sit down to talk about the wonderful words of God. Through His leadership, we will be able to avoid the overturning of those that hear.
We should be diligent in the study of God’s word. However, our study should never be to display to men how intelligent and scholarly we are. Our study is so that we might show ourselves acceptable servants before God. If we do this, we will avoid shoddy workmanship and correctly handle the word of truth.
If we are blessed to correctly handle the word of truth, then we will not be guilty of subverting others. We will be led by the Holy Spirit to declare the good word of God, fitly spoken. Arguing about God’s word for the sake of proving ourselves right (rather than defending the truth) is vain babbling. This will only lead to ungodliness.
May God bless us to always speak the truth in love to the edifying of His people.