2Ti 2:24-26  “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Paul had previously given instructions to avoid questions that lead to strife. Such things are unprofitable for the Lord’s people. If it is unprofitable for the Lord’s people, then it is not honoring Him. Avoiding this type of striving is not merely a suggestion.

The servant of the Lord must not strive. If we are indeed His bondman, we are under a charge to avoid quarreling and warring against our brothers and sisters. Even if our thoughts are right, willingly destroying our brothers and sisters to prove a point is not. We are not serving our Lord with such an attitude.

His word tells us to be kind (gentle) unto all men. The Greek root of this word translated as “all” means “all, any, every, the whole (see Strong’s).” There is no one, regardless of their status, that we, the servants of the Lord, should not be kind to. Even in defense of the truth, we should never forsake kindness.

Rather than simply demanding conformity, we should have a tendency toward teaching (sharing instruction). Paul himself said he persuaded men because he knew he was God’s servant (2 Cor 5:11-13). This may also require us to suffer long (be patient) at times. Remember that Paul has already told us to endure hardness as good soldiers.

We are to educate (instruct) those that oppose us with humility and kindness (meekness). Also, if it is the truth of God that they are resisting, we need to note that they are not only in opposition to us but to themselves. In refusing the good word of God fitly spoken, we do harm to ourselves, opposing the very counsel that would lead us to peace, joy, and fellowship in Him. Our instruction should never come with an “I told you so” attitude.

It should be our desire that God would give them repentance from vain babblings. Please note how this repentance is going to come. Men will not do this for themselves. Only when God gives them repentance will they be able to acknowledge the truth.

Also notice that if God is pleased to give repentance, then there is an expectation concerning those who receive it. Our desire should be to see them regain their senses (recover themselves – see Strong’s) and escape the vain conversations that have held them captive. Paul calls this the work of the devil. His language here also points out again that greater is He that is in us (God) than he that is in the world (the devil).

As servants of God, we cannot teach from a position of strife. We cannot decide who is worthy to hear His word. The effect that His word has on others is not up to us. Our job is to be inclined to instruct all men with patience and kindness.

May God make us willing and obedient to go where He sends us and say what He tells us with true love and humility toward Him and His people!


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