Humility is another of the important traits we must encourage in our children. I learned lessons about that last night. Ray began a study of 1 Timothy in our Wednesday night class. We first meet Timothy in the 16th chapter of Acts. There we learn that his mother was a “Jewish woman who was a believer” and that his father was a Greek. We also learn that he was well-spoken of by fellow believers.
In Acts 16, we learn that Paul decided to take Timothy with him as he traveled for the gospel. At some point, Timothy stayed in Ephesus while Paul went to Macedonia. Paul had several things he wanted Timothy to do to help believers in Ephesus. Paul’s first letter to Timothy encouraged him and instructed him.
Timothy obviously had a good upbringing. Paul says that both his grandmother and his mother were women of sincere faith.
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you,
which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois
and your mother Eunice,
and I am sure that it is in you as well.
2 Timothy 1:5
When Paul met Timothy in Acts, Timothy must have been following what these godly women had taught him, since he was well-spoken of by others. Timothy continued to have good influences in his life as he traveled and worked with the apostle Paul. He and Paul were so close that Paul called him his “true child in the faith.” Still, Timothy’s instruction wasn’t over. Paul knew that Timothy had more to learn.
Last night, as I wondered about what to write for you today, I thought about Timothy and whether Ray’s lesson might provide something to share with you. Timothy, Eunice, Lois, and Paul illustrate two important realities.
- Just because a child has great parenting does not mean that they enter life with all they need to know. Timothy still needed teaching. Just because a child struggles or even leaves behind what his or her parents taught does not necessarily mean the parents didn’t do an excellent job.
- We all, like Timothy, need to keep learning. We need people who are willing to correct and instruct us, and we need to have humble hearts willing to take those lessons in.
One of the purposes of 1 Timothy was to teach Timothy how to teach others. Paul gave Timothy a goal for the instruction Timothy was to give to others. It was like the goal we have for the instruction we give to our children.
But the goal of our instruction is
love from a pure heart and a good conscience
and a sincere faith.
1 Timothy 1:5