Day 12

An Approved Worker

from the 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus reading plan


2 Timothy 2:14-26, Galatians 5:22-25, 1 Peter 3:14-16

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:14-26, Galatians 5:22-25, 1 Peter 3:14-16

Words have the power to heal or destroy. “Sharper than a knife,” we say. When a simple turn of phrase has cut you, you know what I’m talking about.

I’m not prone to physical violence. If anything, I avoid it at all costs. But if I’m truthful, which is the whole point here, I can’t begin to count the times I’ve wounded another with careless syllables, intentionally and unintentionally. I imagine I’m not alone in this.

When Paul urges Timothy in his second letter to warn believers to “avoid irreverent and empty speech” (2 Timothy 2:16) he is talking about more than petty gossip. This letter, written shortly before Paul’s death, focuses on the importance of teaching God’s inspired Word correctly. If all words hold incredible life-giving and death-bringing power, imagine how the divine Word of God can alter a life. Sadly, Christians have been known to twist and abuse the Word of God far too often. This was a problem Paul addressed around AD 67, and it’s a problem that still plagues our communities today.

I’m sure we can all call to mind a person in our day and age we might consider a heretic or false teacher. While it’s natural to want to defend the faith, and guard the hearts and minds of others, Paul’s teaching directs us to check our own mouths first.

Paul cautions Christians not to fight about words or get caught up in quarrels over small matters of interpretation. Now, I’ve known many people who enjoy arguing about theology. While there can be productive debate among believers and instances when we must call out false teachings, often these squabbles turn into a hypocritical and discouraging witness.

The trouble comes when we start preaching about things we don’t understand, or building walls around beliefs that Christ never promoted. Traveling down that road, we can become a hindrance to the faith of others. As Paul put it, you can actually lead to the “ruin of those who listen” (v. 14). Yikes! Now that is something I definitely don’t want to be guilty of!

As women in the Word, God will hold us accountable for our stewardship of this precious gift of faith. It’s a great responsibility to wield the most potent Word in all of humankind; as the Gospel of Luke says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required” (12:48).

When we stand before our Lord, we will want to stand “as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). In order to do that, we must be careful how we speak about holy things. We need not be afraid to share our faith, but we should do so “with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience” (1 Peter 3:16).

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Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Kaitie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

Post Comments (39)

39 thoughts on "An Approved Worker"

  1. Jen Nohrenberg says:

    This is awesome – thanks!

  2. Betsy Gibson says:

    He is very adamant in his beliefs I just pray that someday we can both be like minded in this and pursue Jesus together.

    1. Apryl Lopes says:

      If your husbands anything like my husband, the more you push, the more he digs in. Lol I don’t know you but I have found that somethings are best left to God. He knows where your husbands at and all the thoughts he has, He’ll reach him in a way humans can’t. Hang in there and just lead by example, he’ll come around.

  3. Betsy Gibson says:

    My husband and I got into a discussion the other night about Big Bang theory. and the fact that the Bible is the living, breathing word of God. He thinks the Bible is mainly stories made up by men and not inspired by God. He claims to be a believer but his words and actions do not line up. This has been very difficult for me because I want to be a light to Him but

  4. Melanie says:

    I’m in a season where I’m having a difficult time moving past some very hurtful words said against my family. Trying to press into God and praying for Him to lift my eyes, heart, and mind. it’s so hard to get past for some reason.

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      We’re praying for you during this time Melanie -for encouragement and comfort. We’re grateful for you! -Margot, The SRT Team

    2. Sarah S says:

      Praying for you to truly forgive and brush that dirt off your shoulder! I tend to be a grudge holder and know how hard it is to let something hurtful go. Remember “I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me”.

  5. Sherry Sparks says:

    I really needed this!

  6. Jamie Oleka says:

    Lord I pray that through my actions and character that I can be an example to my students and coworkers as your disciple. I will speak encouragement and life to my students.

  7. Monica Davis says:

    Avoid positions and “careless syllables”

  8. Kathy Valentine says:

    Dear Sisters, I am asking for prayer as I must confront a co-worker about our strained relationship. This is the fourth time I have tried to work things out with this person and meet resistance every time. This person is able to talk circles around me and I can easily not know what to say or say the wrong thing when flustered. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will help me to speak the right words of truth with love, gentleness, kindness, and clarity, and that I will be an active listener. Also that this co-worker will soften her heart toward me. Thank you so much.

    1. Susan says:

      Praying for you! I know how this is when met in conversation with someone who knows what to say before I even have a thought formed and then flusters even the thought that was forming… more frustration, and all we are trying to do is repair not destroy. Is seems at these times I throw love and gentleness out the window and the destructive cycle keeps going. I pray for both of us as I too have a co-worker/boss. I pray that these two individuals soften their hearts toward us, that God allow His Spirit to flow through the situation in a mighty way and healing and restoration take place. May peace meet you in your place this weekend.

    2. Katie Morrison says:

      Praying that God will give you the words to speak the truth in love. I have been through this recently and during the conversation, I tried to follow what the other person said, point out the false comments they made by redirecting it with the truth of the situation, and I found habits and patterns in how they talked. I tried to stay one step ahead of them—not to “bring them down” but to help stay on track mentally with their strategy of talking in circles. Sometimes, confronting a “fool” who loves quarreling is difficult. Standing up for yourself sets a precedent for yourself. Ultimately what I learned is, if by our actions and words we show Christ, our character speaks for us and others see the person we are. When someone mistreats us, it makes them look bad. I’m sorry you are going through this and support you in speaking up!

    3. Denise Powers Fabian says:

      Kathy : I am holding you up in prayer today. I work in a very toxic environment at work but the work I do is a privilege and honor to help families and their children. But I know God uses the difficulties among my coworkers to look at myself and cling more to my Savior. I know that of which you speak and will pray for you.

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