Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived. But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 2 Timothy 3:12-14
Paul didn’t want Timothy to have any illusions. Following Christ was the most wonderful life that Paul could imagine, but it wasn’t easy. And he knew it wouldn’t be easy for Timothy either. He would face challenges on all sides and, at the same time, would have to cope with the sight of his opponents flourishing. It was going to be incredibly tough, but Paul was convinced that, by clinging onto the things he had been taught, he would be fine.
Paul told Timothy he could be confident of the teaching he had received because he knew the trustworthiness of those who had taught him. Timothy had a Jewish mother who, it seemed, was largely responsible for his upbringing.
The Old Testament has much to say about the teaching of children. From their earliest days, they were introduced to the law. It was claimed that the Jewish law was so firmly imprinted on a child’s mind that they would be more likely to forget their own name than
God’s law. Timothy’s Christian life drew heavily upon the loving and faithful teaching that he had received from his earliest days.
As we thank God for the teaching we have received, it is good for us to reflect on the teachers themselves. I wonder whose influence has blessed you over the years. I think of my parents, Sunday school teachers and youth leaders who graciously introduced me to the Christian faith. I think of lecturers and ministers whose love for God has shaped my understanding of Christian teaching. There can be no doubt that following Christ is challenging but, strengthened by loving teaching from trustworthy people, we have been given every encouragement to remain faithful.
Who have been the most influential teachers in your Christian life and why?
Loving Father, thank you for those who have helped me to understand your truth. Help me to remain faithful to what I have learnt. Amen