22 你應當逃避年輕人的私慾，要和那些以清潔的心求告主的人，一同追求公義、信心、愛心、和平。 23 你要拒絕愚蠢無知的問難；你知道這些事會引起爭論。 24 但主的僕人卻不可爭論，總要待人溫和，善於教導，存心忍耐， 25 以溫柔勸導那些對抗的人，或許神給他們悔改的心，可以認識真理。 26 他們雖然曾經被魔鬼擄去，隨從他的意思而行，或許也能醒悟過來，脫離魔鬼的陷阱。
- 慢慢地讀幾遍這段經文，想像保羅就坐在身旁，對我直接說這些話。我心中有什麼感受？有那句觸動我的心？或許我在抗拒「年輕人的私慾」，或是我專門喜歡提出刁難的 問題，或是我心中尚有苦毒，總是喜歡和別人「爭論」，又或是我覺得屬靈的成熟，例如「待人溫和，善於教導，存心忍耐」對我實在是太難，太遙不可及了；又或者對某些人，我已經完全放棄希望，認為他不有可能「醒悟過來」。
22Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
- Slowly read these verses. Imagine Paul is sitting beside me, speaking these words to me directly. How do I feel when I hear them? What part of the passage resonates most with me? Why? Maybe the “evil desires of youth” seem a little patronizing. Maybe I just like to have “foolish and stupid arguments”, or there is still bitterness in me that I get into “quarrels” a lot. Perhaps Christian maturity such as “be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful” seems impossible or defeating. Maybe with some people I’ve lost hope that they might “come to their senses”.
- Continue to sit in a comfortable position being as still and silent as possible. Silent, still. Listen for the gentle whisper of God’s voice in the midst of the silence. Maybe he will show me a spot of childishness or one of righteousness. Maybe he will offer me hope.
- Continue to sit in silence and explore what God might want me to do with this instruction. How am I to live it out today? This week? This month?
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2012 “Spiritual Journal” book.