“Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene” (2 Timothy 2:14-17).
Ah, this is what my pastor would (only partially jesting) call “the razorblade edge of doom.” On one side, the “ruin of the hearers” (2:14). On the other side, quick-spreading gangrenous talk that results in “further ungodliness” (2:16,17). Between these two disastrous drop-offs, on a narrow ridgeline above the clouds, is the only Way for the preacher/teacher of the Word. This Way requires diligence, work, and accuracy (2:15). This Way is before the very face of God, Who brings those on this Way under a “stricter judgment” (James 3:1). Yet this is THE Way. There is no other. So, despite the sometimes ferocious winds, precarious footing, and temptation to take a path down to easier trails, Paul urges us to stay on the ridgeline. To glory.
So, if you’re preparing to teach the Word tonight, or if you’re planning on attending Bible study, pray. Pray to the Father Who is the Source of “grace, mercy, and peace” (1:2), the Son Who is the Mediator and conduit of that strengthening grace (2:1), and the Holy Spirit Who enables us to guard this matchless treasure of truth (1:14). And get to work walking this high, narrow Way.