Thursday, March 13, 2014

2 Timothy 2:24-26 -- On Avoiding the Zombie Path

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."
2 Timothy 2:24-26

I think that this is interesting in a couple of different ways.  First, if we are the servants of the Lord in this comparison, we need to not strive, and we need to be gentle.  Sometimes we think that calling others to repentance is something that requires some kind of public shaming... and I think this makes it clear that that sort of thing is inappropriate.  Instead, we should be meek and gentle... patient and "apt to teach."  I really like that part.  In order to teach something, we need to know it really, really well.  And so in order to help other people back from opposing themselves and out of traps, we really have to know how *not* to oppose ourselves or fall into traps.
Which is the other way that this is interesting.  If in these verses we are the ones that oppose ourselves.  ... It is interesting to think about sins and disobedience in that way.  That we are against ourselves.  And so often that is what it feels like, doesn't it?  That we are having an internal war, and fighting ourselves?  Opposing ourselves makes us miserable overall, even when there are temporary bright spots.  That's why we fall into traps like that... because  Satan tries to get us to believe that the bright spots are what is right and true, and twists things around so it looks like we are being true to ourselves, or getting exactly what we want.  But it isn't that way.  There is always a fatal flaw in whatever we saw that was good there... it is taken too far, or it turns out to be not what we wanted at all... because it makes us miserable and internally at war with ourselves.
Perhaps both of these things go together.  Once we have experienced the opposing ourselves part, it is easier to be gentle and compassionate towards others who are experiencing the same thing.  And as we learn better how to choose happiness and internal peace for ourselves, the more we will be able to support others and teach them about similar choices.  ... The trick isn't to fight the war and have one side win.  That path only leads us to being half-dead zombies.  The real solution is to stop fighting.  To walk away from whatever is causing us to oppose ourselves... to find a way to truth and wholeness without destruction.  And that way is always through God.
Today, let's avoid the zombie path.  Let's find a way to peace.

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