Patience With The Unredeemed
And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.—2 Timothy 2:24-26
When I read this text, I feel like Paul is trying to help Timothy understand the process of spiritual persuasion. He describes it much like you might describe a manufacturing process. There is a definitive list of inputs and a hopeful list of outputs. The inputs are:
- Be kind to all people.
- Be ready to teach people.
- Be patient when enduring sinful people.
- Be gentle when you correct people.
Of course, these inputs would hope for certain outputs. And the outputs are:
- Granted repentance.
- Knowledge of the truth.
- Coming to an understanding.
- Escaping the snare and will of the devil.
What's interesting is that the outputs are not guaranteed. Unlike working with material goods on a manufacturing line, this process does not always guarantee results. And as we know, if you have a stubborn child, a belligerent boss, or a sinful spouse, you know that the inputs do not always guarantee a changed person. But there is one thing that is guaranteed in the process. If you put in the right inputs, you will always be the right person, and God's will will be done in you. And hopefully, over time, those around you will believe and come to repentance.
So your call to action today is to strive to be the right person despite the opposition in your life. Be kind, ready, patient, and gentle in a world full of sin and evil. Let others see God in you. And let's hope that as they see God in us that they will desire God in them.
ASK THIS: Who is one person you need to be more kind, ready, patient, and gentle with today? (Share it in the comments below)
DO THIS: Act kind, ready, patient, and gentle in their presence.
PRAY THIS: God, may I be the right person and thus sway people I encounter to righteousness. Let your will be done in me, so it will be done in others.
PLAY THIS: Go Deep. My Righteousness.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.