As I look at this passage, I am challenged as to the kind of teacher I should be.
What does it take to be a good teacher of the Word of God?
1. Pass on what you know. Especially pass it on to the next generation of teachers after you. You won’t be here forever. So make sure that the wisdom and knowledge God has given you doesn’t die with you. (2)
2. Be faithful in your life and your teaching. Don’t compromise either in the face of persecution or suffering. Remember who your commanding officer is. Remember who you are trying to please. You cannot please God if you are trying to please people. Too often, when we try to please people, we end up compromising our lives and our message. (3-4)
3. Work hard at your preaching. Know the rules of interpreting scripture. Know how to rightly interpret God’s word and then present it in a way that people can understand. And know that if you do so, you will reap the fruit of that in the changed lives of the people you teach. (5-6, 15)
4. Ponder over the words of God. Don’t just gloss over them, thinking you already know what they mean. Meditate on them. And God will give you insight that you didn’t expect. (7)
5. Remember Jesus Christ in your messages. Remember to make him the center of all that you teach. Keep the gospel that changes lives central to all that you say. (8-9)
6. Seek the salvation of those you teach. Don’t just seek to win arguments. Seek to win souls. Show people that you genuinely care about them, and don’t simply want to win an argument. Correct people when they’re wrong, but with gentleness, praying that God may grant them repentance. They are not the enemy. They themselves have been captured by the Enemy and God wants to set them free. (10, 24-26)
7. Don’t get involved in pointless arguments. There are some arguments that generate a great deal of heat and very little light. Avoid them. (14, 23)
8. Flee from the false teaching that infects many churches today, teaching that would deny the Word of God and all it stands for. That kind of teaching will spread quickly and infect all who hear it, destroying them. And you will be held responsible. (16-17)
9. Finally, be sure that you yourself are a clean vessel that God can use. Flee impurity. More, pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace. (20-22)
How about you? What kind of teacher are you?