How to Serve (Part 1 of 2)

Christians live to serve.

March 21, 2020

"And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient."

2 Timothy 2:24

Part 1

In this passage, Paul is discipling Pastor Timothy.  We will borrow this first verse of the three in this sentence to help us understand how God’s servants minister to others.

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive.”
Paul is sharing with Timothy the qualities of one who serves the Lord in the church.  It could be the pastor or even those who are teaching or carrying out other responsibilities that are God’s servants.  This verse is definitely for them, but all of us who name the name of Christ are his servants too.

“For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant” (1 Corinthians 7:22).

One of the qualities of God’s servants is that they are not “fighters.”  This ancient word translated as strive means “to fight”[1] (Thayer).  One of the characteristics of a pastor is that he must not be a pugilist.  The believer fights on his/her knees, and not with his/her fists.  This includes verbal arguments.

“Timothy must not quarrel but be gentle to all.  It was not his job as a pastor to pick fights and to look for conflict.  Some men only feel energized and motivated if they have an argument; Timothy (and every pastor) should be of a different sort” [2] (Guzik).

It is common in this lost world for people to be fighting with each other.

“The Jews, therefore, strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:53, Jesus is teaching on the “bread of life”).

“And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another?” (Acts 7:26, Moses defending a slave).

And sadly, even believers not walking with the Lord will fight.

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2).

But “fighting” is certainly not to be the norm for God’s child.

What are some positive qualities we servants need to have as we are serving the Lord?  Come back tomorrow, and let’s learn more.




[1] J.H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, the electronic version in eSword.  Here is the rest of Thayer’s definition of “strive.” “…1a) of armed combatants, or those who engage in a hand to hand struggle; 1b) of those who engage in a war of words, to quarrel, wrangle, dispute; 1c) of those who contend at law for property and privileges.”
[2] Guzik, David.  David Guzik’s Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.