One of the things that I like about the writings of the Apostle Paul is that he is very practical. All of his letters have a practical side to them. Paul wanted his readers to apply theology to life. Nowhere does he do that better than in 2 Timothy. He tells Timothy to flee evil desires of youth and to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace (2 Tim 2:22).
We do well to listen to Paul’s advice to Timothy and run from the things he said were no good for us and run toward what would improve our lives. Paul goes on to clarify that impatience and the inability to listen to other people is something we need to leave behind as we pursue maturity. Being dogmatic and so self-assertive that we give our opinion whether or not anyone is interested is a sign of gross immaturity.
We are to pursue righteousness, which simply said is doing the right thing. It is integrity and character. Faith is the ability to trust God in every area of our life. Love is how we treat people, especially people who can do nothing for us. Finally, peace is the evidence of God’s presence in our life as we live in harmony with others.
This is the first of four servant songs given to us by the prophet Isaiah. It is a description of the Lord Jesus as God’s true servant.
"Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him
and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his law the islands will put their hope."
In this passage Isaiah describes what Jesus would be like during his ministry. He didn’t have a loud, defiant voice, and he wasn’t brash or rude. Though he was the Son of God, the same one who spoke the worlds into existence, he didn’t snuff out those people who were barely hanging on in life. He didn’t strive with others or get into fights or arguments. He was quiet and gentle, yet powerful through his love and humility. In Jesus there is the quiet strength of one who seeks to conquer by love and not by strife. His message is of gentleness and humility. As we flee the sinful and immature desires of human nature and follow after noble things such as righteousness, faith, love and peace, we will be more servant like. Jesus is our model, and we are to follow in his steps.