Along with the passage identified in the title of the post, I was reading from N.T. Wrights’s 1 & 2 Timothy & Titus book which I purchased on Amazon for kindle. This is “the book” that I am referring to, unless otherwise noted.

What Did I Learn?

During our Moms for Christ bible study, Allison said in reference to Question 3:

When Paul tells Timothy to “announce the word” (v. 2), the New Testament hadn’t yet been completely written or gathered into an authoritative collection, and he probably didn’t have the Old Testament tament in mind. So what was he talking about when he said “the word”?

She had said that “word” isn’t capitalized the way it was in the beginning of John when talking about Jesus. And therefore she believed that “word” refers to the old testament and the stories of Jesus.

What Stood Out To Me?

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (Q6) My opinion on this questions is that people are not receptive to new opinions. The question asks about “In verses 3-4 Paul says that the time is coming when people will not tolerate healthy teaching. What evidence do you see of this intolerance?”  I had discussed with the group how when I was reading “I Am Malala” she talked about how a lot of the hate and misinformation started because some guy would get on the radio and talk about his beliefs and people listening would say “Oh okay. It must be true!” and I feel like in the bible, you see that happen quite a bit, where people would just spread news and people would believe it.

I see a different world now. I see a world where everyone has an opinion and their opinion is the only right one. People don’t want to listen to other people. Even with the idea of “we don’t have to agree at the end of this conversation” or GOD FORBID “I could come away with a new perspective or opinion”. No one these days, it seems, wants to be told a new way of thinking. I think this is causing a time where we aren’t willing to listen to “healthy teaching”. I have heard stories of kids going to school and refusing to even listen to their teachers because they had different opinions than they did. I agree that having opinions and being well informed is good and well, but when did it become okay to disrespect teachers instead of listening politely and then go home and say, “okay, what they said, I don’t agree with, but that’s alright.” I just see a world, where no one wants to hear anyone that doesn’t tell them what they already believe.

I just challenge myself to be open hearted and open minded. And understand that conversations and discussions do not need to end in total agreement and that I can listen to a teacher or pastor or just another person and disagree without being intolerant to their opinion and roll my eyes and scoff behind their back.

(Don’t get me wrong, I know I speak in generalizations and that there are PLENTY of people out there that do want to hear other people and are very open.)

How do you and your Christian community announce the message of Jesus?
I know that it has taken me years of slowly learning to just say what I’m thinking. “Oh yeah, so at bible study, we were talking about this…” or “At church…” or even, “I’ve been praying for this, and it happened!” And slowly, it became not weird, and a whole lot easier to do. I think in this way, it becomes easier to talk about Jesus and his message when you get used to talking about your faith in casual conversations. Even in the Target checkout, I’ll say, “Oh yeah, my husband and I work at our church doing audio/visual stuff and…” and it helps you later when it comes to bigger conversations about faith or spiritual walks and sharing His message.  I think it is a learned practice, especially in a world that tends to shut down any mention of God or Jesus.

What is God Trying to Tell Me? or
What Does This Tell Me About God?

As you look back over the books of I and 2 Timothy, how have you been challenged to live your life worthy of the gospel?
I feel God telling me that I need to be living the same self all the time. That the person my family sees should be the same person my church sees, and my friends see, and the people on the road, and the starbucks lady. That living with integrity should be my goal. And that I am the same across the board.

 


Source: N. T. Wright. 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus (N. T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides) (Kindle Locations 372-373). Kindle Edition.

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