2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching.
2 Timothy 4:2
This charge from Paul to Timothy is important: “Preach the word.” Now, you may be thinking, “Well, I am not a preacher. Timothy was a preacher. Perhaps this charge is not really for me.” But Paul intends us to all see ourselves as Timothy. We are all charged to be ready to preach the word, in season and out. We’re also charged to correct, rebuke and encourage others with great patience and teaching.
One way we preach the word is by engaging in gospel conversations. But even before that, we need to be people whose lives testify to the gospel—people who “preach the word” with our lives. We must preach the word both in what we do and what we say. As Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”
Last year’s season of quarantine (and I realize we are not fully out of it yet) was a bit like the movie Groundhog Day—where Bill Murray keeps waking up on the same day, over and over again.
For me, I would get up early. Make coffee. Work on the dishes, unless my wife Lesley Ann had done them the night before. (She likes to do them in the evening, me in the morning—it’s one of the things we have to work through as partners). And then the days would unfold pretty much similarly. Most evenings were slow, with ample family time. We weren’t going out anywhere.
In many ways, the time with our family was sweet. With such limited variety, it revealed to us that before Covid, we probably lived at a pace that was too fast. I think the forced rhythms were good for my family and for me. I pray we will sustain some of the new, healthier rhythms we have developed.
What are your rhythms like these days? How is your patience? That is a theme of what Paul is teaching Timothy in this verse, as well as throughout both letters. Paul desired Timothy to be patient and obedient. Are you also able to patiently wait on and serve the Lord? Are you pursuing holiness?
Such rhythms are the key to being ready in and out of season. Having healthy rhythms allows us to preach the word with our whole lives—with what we say and with what we do.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Take an inventory of your daily rhythms. Take some time to jot them down.
- Do any of these daily rhythms need to be let go of?
- Which rhythms bring you the most joy? Which rhythms help you feel most connected with God?
Pray for Hope for the World missions partner Hope Clinic for Women. Pray that women will continue to come to Hope Clinic for medical services and education regarding pregnancy. Pray for the Bridge program that equips for parenting, and for recovery and healing for clients. Pray Hope Clinic can continue to be a beacon of hope and safe place.