a word to the wise
What is the first time you remember running from a situation because it was embarrassing, difficult, or challenging and the only thing you wanted was to get out?
We are beginning a series in 1 and 2 Timothy. Paul the elder wrote these two letters to a young Timothy who was beginning his journey. Paul gave all kinds of wisdom and asked Timothy to be wise enough to listen. Paul begins by challenging Timothy to “stay” in a difficult situation that was pressing Timothy in many ways. Paul believed that his young apprentice was ready to handle it.
1 Timothy 1:1-20
Read verses 1-2. Notice the phrase, “my true son.” That is powerful. Paul took Timothy under his wing to teach him about life and ministry. Who, along the way, has done this for you? Have there been times when you needed someone but nobody was there?
Read verses 3-5. Paul had been leading in Ephesus but felt it was time for him to leave. Paul saw Timothy as ready to lead and challenged him to “stay” in a difficult situation. In what situation or relationship is it difficult for you to stay right now? Why is it difficult to stay? What is happening that makes it difficult?
Read verses 6-11. Paul explained to Timothy how to “stay” and handle the situation. In Timothy’s context, that meant Paul explaining a bit about the Old Testament as well as how to confront certain teachers. Who would be a great mentor share with you about how to stay and handle your current difficulty or relationship?
Read verses 18-20. Notice how Paul affirmed, encouraged, and reminded Timothy of who he truly was and what had been spoken into his life AS he is challenging him to do something difficult. Who, specifically, is in your life whom you could take under your wing to encourage and challenge them toward a life well lived?
Read verses 18-20. This is a rightly–famous verse. What does fighting the battle well, or “fighting the Good Fight,” look like right now in this season of your journey?
Ask for prayer for the courage to stay.
Ask for prayer for wisdom in a current difficult situation or relationship.
Share whatever “hit you“ during this discussion, and ask for prayer.
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Paul shares this advice with a young church in Philippi. We will often find ourselves in difficult, trying, and challenging situations. Often, we will know that we are called to “stay” and “fight the good fight.” It is so easy to put the emphasis on ourselves and on our strength. We will soon find that our strength is not sufficient. A wonderful spiritual practice is to seek to walk not in our own strength but in the inexhaustible resource of God’s strength in us and through us.