Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
II Timothy 2:6
How does an organization promote the right values for its followers? This article explores this question from a biblical viewpoint. The Apostle Paul was actually infusing values into the early church. Paul understood the pressures of leading others while carrying a tainted past. As a former Jewish zealot, Paul persecuted the church. He faced heavy opposition, and his past deeds made his job difficult. First, Paul was opposed by groups of Jewish Christians. Second, Pauls teaching about Christ, salvation, and oneness of all–including females, Gentiles, and slaves–made his beliefs counter to Jewish tradition.
From an exegetical point, honor was an esteemed value in a male-dominated society during the first-century Mediterranean period. Therefore, a place of honor was established through boundaries of power status, sexual status, and social status. Acquired honor was the socially recognized claim to worth that an individual earned by excelling over others in various forms of social interaction.
Furthermore, Paul supported his young leaders in the early church by helping them grow character. For example, Paul had placed Timothy in a situation where he stood out because he was a young, a bi-ethnic, outsider in this Ephesus community. Paul explained in II Timothy 2:6, Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Paul challenged Timothy to move beyond his shame and his youth by providing these special assignments to build his character. Once again, the results were positive. The Apostle Paul understood Timothys background and did not allow it to set him back. Therefore, Timothy was thrust into a critical leadership role, and this role provided a great source of honor for him. The results were positive. Timothy assisted Paul in Troas, Philippi, Berea, Thessalonica, Athens, and Corinth.
Esler, P. (1994). The first Christians in the social world: Social-scientific approaches to new testament Interpretation. New York: Clay Ltd.
Constable, T. (2005). Note on 1 Timothy. Sonic Light.
Marshall, I. (1999). The international critical commentary on the Pastoral Epistles. Edinburgh, Scotland.
© 2008 by Daryl D. Green