2 Timothy 2:1-3 – “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” NASU
We have discussed from time to time the ‘deposit’ one makes or should be making in the lives of others. Paul was giving Timothy, his son in the faith, some counsel regarding his ministry and purpose in preparing others to join in the spiritual warfare that is going on and will until Jesus come again. One of the things we learned is that it is important to “Pick the Right Friends.” I am convinced that one of the most devastating things for the church or the individual in this walk and warfare is misplaced friendships or relationships. As the writer of Proverbs tells us in 25:19 – “Confidence in an unfaithful man in the time of trouble is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint.” Painful would be an understatement and adds no benefit.
Today I would like for us to consider another secret – “Pick Faithful People.” That is an absolute for ‘fellowship’. I have learned through observation and experience that ‘faithful people’ make the best fighters in spiritual warfare or any warfare! Tragically the Church has given positions of responsibility and authority to people simply to get them involved or keep them coming to the local ‘sheep shed.’ That is disastrous and completely contrary to what the Bible teaches. It is equally dangerous when we, as individuals, reach out in search for relationships out of desperation, due to rejection and a desire to be ‘approved’, ‘liked,’ and ‘loved’. MISTAKE!
Who should Timothy have chosen? Those who stayed when the others left! Bear in mind, they probably were not the most influential, charismatic, and may not have been the most gifted. They were likely just ‘regular people.’ BUT – They stayed true! FAITHFUL! I am so thankful to God for the friends who have stayed true through the years and the tears!
Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
Proverbs 27:6 – “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”
Proverbs 27:17 – “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
I have learned, the hard way, that a real friend, will not sugar-coat everything and tell me only what I want to hear. They are honest to a fault with me and as a result, they SHARPEN ME and sometimes the ‘wound’ of their words and truth hurts but that hurt leads to healing and betterment in my life. I thank God for a friend who will be honest in love!
If you attempt to pour your life into an ‘unfaithful person’ it is like pouring water on the ground. The Bible teaches that we are to ‘love all people’, ‘reach out to all people’, and we are to ‘avoid being suspicious, and judgmental.’ We are to judge righteous judgment not the judgment of the flesh. So, beware you cannot pour your life out to or into everyone. Those you are going to WAR with must be FAITHFUL people! That is a ‘heart quality’ not a ‘religious performance’ thing.
If you catch what Paul says to Timothy you will find valuable information for your relationships and labors: “Timothy, you take what you have learned from me and commit that to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Do you see the process?
- We RECEIVE and the GIVE OUT.
- It is PROGRESSION through MULTIPLICATION.
- The DISCIPLE is to become the DISCIPLER and produce DISCIPLES who will in turn DISCIPLE others. It is REPRODUCTION!
There is evangelism, discipleship, and fathering but to be a father you must have spiritual sons and daughters! You reach out to everyone. You evangelize whenever and wherever you can or there is the opportunity. But you cannot pour your life, to the point of reproduction in everyone! The whole of Christianity is involved in RELATIONSHIPS! Not positions, structures, functions, gifts, roles, rules, etc. It is in RELATIONSHIPS! LIFE LINKS!
Paul’s emphasis and that of the Bible is FAITHFULNESS, not ABILITY. He did not say look for ‘qualified men’. There are scores of them, they are abundant. He said, look for FAITHFUL MEN!
1 Timothy 5:22 – “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partakers of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.”
The ‘laying on of hands’ here is releasing them or appointing them to position or ministry. You must know those you are going to war with. You do not appoint them out of need, based on previous success, influence, or charisma. You do so after you have tested them and know they are FAITHFUL!
1 Thessalonians 5:12 – “Know those who labor among you.”
So if you are in a position to disciple another carefully choose who you pour out your life to or into. Be sure they are faithful people who will then teach others that which you are teaching them.
God bless you as you go through your day!