"The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."Am I quarrelsome? Maybe. Am I kind to all? No. I am not necessarily unkind but indifferent, which is probably worse than unkindness or at least synonymous with it. 'Patient when wronged'? Not at all, really. I have seen growth, but I do not want small spurts of growth, but real enduring patience. Something that the world would notice as supernatural. A man who never lacks patience, when wronged but freely forgives and is gentle with any corrections. The psychology of conversation is very important here. Paul is essentially telling Timothy that men who are treated 'roughly' in conversation will close up and not be open to seeing your point. Gentleness is crucial in getting those who have wronged you to see their sin and repent. It is natural for me in conversation to try to show someone something by getting louder, and more flamboyant in my speech. Paul is telling me this morning that I ought to do just the opposite.
There is a time and a place for flamboyance. I would make a great politician or lawyer or a rhetorician, but when dealing with people in close relationship I must abandon this way of speaking and train myself to be gentle and patient. Forgive me, all who are in close relationship with me, for the sort of speech that I have subjected you to. I have a tendency to beat up some with my words and presentations. I do not mean harm, but clearly see that it does just that.
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