Read 2 Timothy 2
Focus on verse 24-26
Truth can be a harsh reality when one has been happily living in deception. This causes me to believe there may well be some validity to the term “blissfully ignorant”. I have met people in this condition, and if I were to be brutally honest, I have probably experienced it at points in my life. The thing about being deceived is that one cannot knowingly continue to live in a deceived state, because once one realizes one has been deceived, the power of the deception is broken. Once we have seen and experienced truth – we can never go back to honestly being deceived. If we go on living in deception from that point we now choosing to live according to what we know to be false. From here on we have graduated to a state of rebellion.
By contrast, it is a wonderful thing to experience truth, and to be delivered from deception if one is open to it. To see the light come on, so to speak, in a persons mind at the moment that the deception is broken is an experience second only to having it happen first hand in one’s own life. In today’s reading Paul admonishes Timothy to be kind and patient with those who oppose him in the hope that by this God might open the mind of the opponent to the truth so that they too might escape the snare of Satan’s deception.
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (v. 24-26)
It is always tempting to rebuke those who oppose us – to be quarrelsome and argumentative – attempting to convince them they are wrong by means of worldly wisdom. This rarely works, and when it does it most often has a hollow ring. It is not untypical that in winning the argument, we lose the relationship and therefore the opportunity of any further discussion.
On the other had, when we respond in kindness and with patience it more often begins to break down some of the preconceived barriers that the person has constructed against God, and opens the door for truly meaningful discussion that will not only convince mind but also transform the heart of a person.