Tag Archives: 2 Timothy 2

Life Investment, and Reinvestment

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)

Along my life journey, I have been blessed with a number of people who have invested in me. This morning as I sip my first cup of coffee and mentally travel all the way back to childhood I am recalling them with a smile on my face, and a heart of gratitude. There were family members, teachers, directors, employers, mentors, and pastors. Some were just doing their job, yet in doing so made a significant impact by simply spending some one-on-one time of instruction, encouragement, and wisdom. A few were intentional in going above and beyond to pour themselves into my life.

I was reminded this past week of the most significant spiritual mentor in my life. It wasn’t just me. I was one of many young men whom he poured himself spiritually for decades. At his funeral, the gentleman leading the service (who was, himself, another protégé) asked everyone who had been discipled by our mentor to stand. A small army of men, from their late teens to their early sixties, stood with me.

What reminded me of my mentor this past week was a pint I shared with a young man from our local gathering of Jesus followers. He just returned from a two-week spiritual intensive. He shared with me how the program had been life-changing for him. That program is the legacy of my old mentor, led and run by others who had, like me, been impacted through his mentoring.

In today’s chapter, Paul continues his letter to the young protégé in whom he had poured more of himself than perhaps any other. He starts the chapter by calling Timothy “son,” then tells Timothy to take all that Paul has poured into him and invest himself in passing it on to others who can, in turn, teach it to others.

Individuals taking the Life that’s been invested in them, and investing it in individuals who, in turn, reinvest what they’ve been given into other individuals.

In the quiet of my office, I am once again seeing the faces and names of those who loved me by investing themselves in me and giving me knowledge, wisdom, time, companionship, encouragement, and occasional admonishment. This begs a few questions:

How am I doing at reinvesting what others have invested in me?

In whom am I intentionally investing anything of real value?

Quarrels and Quibbles About Jots and Tittles

debate v argumentDon’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 2 Timothy 2:23 (NIV)

Wherever my life journey has taken me, I have run into people who like to quarrel and quibble about the jots and tittles. Whether it’s theology they wish to argue or politics, I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting them. It usually begins with a seemingly innocent but direct question about what I believe on a particular theological or political subject. It’s a craps shoot. If I give the wrong answer (e.g. the answer that he doesn’t believe), then I catch a hint of sparkle in the person’s eyes as they pounce and attempt to initiate a verbal sparring session.

I don’t mind having conversations about theological or political topics with a person who is honestly inquisitive and a seeker of truth, even if we disagree. That’s not what I am describing. The quibbler is not seeking truth. He is arrogantly convinced of the absolute rightness of his position and wants to prove themselves and the argument right while rooting out what they believe to be the wrongness of others.

In Paul’s letter to Timothy he warns three times about useless quarrels and chatter. I imagine that languishing in chains in a Roman dungeon has a way of acutely refining your perspective on what truly matters. I have found that age has the same effect, admittedly in a much slower and less painful way. I don’t want to waste time and emotional energy in loveless verbal sparring sessions that have no eternal value. I prefer to invest in conversations that build up both of those who are engaged in the give and take, and which result in a greater measure of love and appreciation for one another.