People Need God
In 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Paul speaks to Timothy about faith—firm belief or complete trust. He speaks about giving careful instruction against the time when people gather those about them to say what they want to hear. Paul seems to need his friends and his things about him. He speaks of those who deserted him and failed to support him. Perhaps his faith wavered a bit as ours has on occasion. When this happens, it is natural to want to draw those to us who are loving and supportive. And how often have we found comfort in things which bring pleasant memories of good times to mind?
Paul goes on to say that through all this testing God did not desert him but stood by his side and gave him strength. He also mentions those gathered around him who are faithful and send greetings and their comfort and strength to Timothy.
We must be willing to share the good news even though it may be an unpopular message, no matter what the circumstances. We must also realize that our rewards may not be immediate. If we have our faith, God will work through us to witness to others in the world.
—George and Linda Howton
- Do we often choose our friends because they agree with us? List some reasons for choosing the friends you have now.
- What can be gained by choosing to associate with those who might challenge us? What might be difficult?
- Have you had “friends” desert you? How did you feel?
- Why was Timothy trying to teach his audiences sound doctrines?
How Do I Act?
- Seek out and safely socialize with someone you do not know well. Isn’t the diversity refreshing? You may want to begin a small group of those in churches from another ethnic or social background. Plan to meet with them once a week for a while.
- Make a list of what makes one’s faith stronger. Share this list with another person, prioritizing the list as you discuss it.
- Think about some things that bring you comfort such as a family member’s Bible, a baptismal gown, baby shoes, etc. If it seems feasible, allow some of these things to become a part of your décor. Seeing them on a regular basis might remind you of their comfort value and God’s love.
- Reflect on your family’s friends with your family. Strive to widen your family’s circle of friends. With another neighbor, plan an outside, socially distanced block party or cookout for the neighborhood. If it is too big a group, you might have them come and go. You can make assignments to everyone who wants to participate so the burden of work will not be on any one person.