2 Timothy 2:14-26 … The passage before us is sobering and important. The instruction is for pastors certainly, but all of us gain from knowing these things. Verse 14 begins “Keep reminding them,” and the “them” here is the congregation. Remind them not to get tied up in unedifying and useless discussions over simple words (something we like to call the “paralysis of analysis”).
Then the topic changes a bit, giving Timothy another example, like the soldier, athlete and farmer earlier in the chapter, to be like an unashamed workman who really knows what he’s talking about. Sadly, then and now, there is a counterpart to the faithful, workmanlike pastor. It’s one whose teaching is empty and misleading. The Scripture here likens that kind of person to a gangrenous growth in terms of his destructive influence on a congregation. Those are stern words indeed. That’s followed by another stark example of vessels (pottery) in the household, some used for dinnerware perhaps, and others used for things like chamber pots. The intentionally dramatic illustration is to show the stark difference between faithful and honest presentation of the Gospel and dissipating, empty words that lead people astray.
Chapter 2 ends with an important admonition not to become entangled in quarrelsome questions but (the most important part) to teach with patience and love to gently move people to acknowledge the truth of the Gospel message. The passage, while using graphic terms, is one of great, great value to any who would respond to a call to teach the Scriptures.