Approved Workmen: 2 Timothy 2:14-16
“14) Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15) Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16) But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:14-16
According to verse 14, some believers that Timothy was working with were falling into a dangerous trap. Rather than focusing on living a godly Christian life in the power of the Holy Spirit on the front lines of service, they were becoming entangled in fruitless religious and doctrinal debates and arguments. They were living on the side lines.
I’ve seen it many times in what could be called “Spectator Christianity.” These people engage in endless arguments about words and small details of doctrine. It does more harm than good. It grieves the Holy Spirit and creates an atmosphere of tension. It ruins young believers and does nothing to build them up in the faith. Paul wanted it to stop immediately.
Instead, in verse 15, Paul wanted them to focus on becoming approved workman for God. They were to be unashamed workers in the harvest fields of life who were accurately handled the word of truth. So what does this look like?
They were to focus on personal application of the Word in daily life and service and not merely sitting around analyzing a text. I have heard it called “the paralysis of analysis.” In verse 16, Paul warned that this leads to dysfunction and further ungodliness. The Christian life was never intended to be a spectator sport.
This is why I delight in dragging “intellectual only Christians” out of their theological recliners and thrusting them onto the front lines of life. They need to experience first hand the fallout of sin in the world of addictions, neglect, abuse, human trafficking, poverty, famine, starvation or disaster. Suddenly their neat intellectual “god box” is woefully small, inadequate and irrelevant. It doesn’t work on the front lines of human need. What happens next?
Well, they either role up their sleeves and get to work by the grace and power of God, or they sink into despair. This is where praying becomes urgent and crying out to God becomes second nature like breathing. This is also where agape love begins to flow and miracles begin to happen. Christianity thrives on the front lines and not on the side lines of life.
Let me be candid, broken people don’t care what your view of the rapture is or when you think Jesus is coming back, they need Him now! They want want to know how faith in God can change their current plight. Do you have an answer? How can you inject grace and the presence of God into their immediate need?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global