Read 2 Timothy 4
Focus on verse 3-4
In team sports such as hockey or football, I can predict with 100% accuracy which team will win prior to the beginning of the game. The winning team will always be the team that scores the most points. In many cases this is ends up being the team with the stronger offense, as the team with the stronger offense typically wins more games.
There are other areas in life where it is necessary to be offensive in order to be effective. In order for us to learn and grow intellectually, it is highly probably that we will encounter ideas that shatter some of the false premises that we have become comfortable with. When this occurs, it can occasionally be somewhat offensive at first, until we’re realize the freedom that accompanies truth. When we shelter people from being offended in a well intentioned attempt to protect them from discomfort, we unintentionally stunt their growth.
If we send our military onto the battle field but do not permit them to hurt or offend the enemy, we will most assuredly be defeated.
In today’s reading Paul warns Timothy of a time that is coming when people will seek out teachers who will promise not to ever challenge them, so that they can continue to pursue their sinful passions without ever being challenged by the truth.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (v. 3-4)
Certainly, we should never seek to be offensive simply for the sake of being offensive, but rather should make every effort to treat, even our enemies with respect simply because they are human. Realistically, however, the truth tends to be offensive at times – even when it is presented in love. The old cliché “the truth hurts” is in fact, very often true. We must however remember that just because it hurts, doesn’t mean it is not good for us. When I work out physically in a gym (which doesn’t happen often) my body hurts for a day or two after, yet I know it was good for me to do it.
This principle is also true of the spiritual realm. Very often when God convicts us of sin in our life, it hurts us. We get offended, we don’t like to be reminded that we sin, yet if we continue to live in deception, this is much more dangerous to our well-being not just here in this life, but possibly for all eternity. Sometimes the most loving thing we can do for another person is to risk offending them by gently telling them the truth – even when we know it will hurt them