People like to be in the loop. We feel important when we know what is going on behind the scenes. We enjoy consuming information so much that even unreliable news is in demand. Rather than asking if it is true, we simply ask if it is juicy.
Nonchurchgoers often believe Christianity is all about the good people. They reason that to fit in with the rest of the congregation, they need to dress nicely, have a decent job, coach a ball team, serve in the PTA, or otherwise prove themselves as upstanding citizens within the community. But Jesus did not come for people trying to prove they were already good.
Many children grow up playing sports. Their parents purchase uniforms, pay league fees, take them to practice, sign up for snacks and drinks, and cheer them on during the games. Mom and Dad want their child to have fun, make friends, play by the rules, win humbly, and lose gracefully.
In the greatest essay on love ever written, the Apostle Paul describes the fleeting nature of worldly knowledge. In contrast to the love that never fails, much of what we know on earth is destined to vanish as a poor reflection of reality.
Paul was several years older than Timothy and served as his mentor in ministry. He was profoundly concerned with the reserved attitude of his apprentice. In Paul’s experience, ministry required much greater boldness than Timothy was displaying.
From time to time, we all make a mess of things. Despite our very best intentions, we stain the carpet, misplace the borrowed item, or break the priceless heirloom. We do something irrational, say something unreasonable, or neglect an obligation we should have fulfilled.