Athlete, Be the Faithful One
2 Timothy 2:2 (NASB)
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.
Have you noticed the change in how some NFL teams develop their young quarterbacks? A few years ago the plan was to let highly drafted quarterbacks ride the bench for 2-3 years and watch the veteran play. Now they throw the rookie on the field, but pay an older QB $3 million to mentor him in everything from locker room leadership to film study.
Writing to his young disciple Timothy, the apostle Paul was concerned about the spiritual development of people who had become Christ-followers. Paul had a pretty simple plan for helping new believers become established in the faith. He was looking for more than brilliance, talent or popularity.
His priority was faithfulness. Trustworthy, reliable. Teach faithful people who will pass it on to other faithful people. (The word translated men is “human,” not “male.”)
When Paul wrote these words, some historians believe that Christianity was in jeopardy of being marginalized, if not extinguished. Paul was aware that his own days were numbered, so his charge to Timothy had some urgency behind it. He was executed outside Rome within two months of writing this letter.
Paul was not looking for seminary professors or senior pastors who could deliver Bible messages, solve doctrinal dilemmas and answer every question. He wanted people marked by Christlikeness and biblical conviction. But they had to be faithful.
Faithful to what? Faithful to the original teaching about having a relationship with Jesus and faithful to intentionally pass it on.
What was so important to faithfully pass on to others? Paul uses four images in the following verses—soldier, athlete, farmer, worker—to communicate what the Christian life should look like. We will unpack them in the following four devotionals.
Tom Petersburg, www.catapultministries.org