Last week, I identified six characteristics of godly men from 2 Timothy 2:1-2. This week, we go through the next four verses, which I notice seem to be related to our calling as “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” So I took a look at these verses, and identified six characteristics of godly men in the workplace. But first, let’s take a look at the verses.
3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
- Godly men are empathetic towards their colleagues. Verse 3 reads, share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. The difference between sympathy and empathy is the former involves feeling pity, and the latter involves putting oneself in the shoes of another. No man is an island, and we go through life with brothers in the faith. If someone is suffering, we can’t simply let them be; we understand their situation, share their pain, and help them overcome it, so that by their testimony, others may come to know Christ.
- Godly men are focused. Verse 4 reads, No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. Whatever it is we were called to do as a career, we are called to do it with excellence, as if we were working for God (refer to Col. 3:23). So when it’s time for work, we would do best to focus on the work, and give our employers our full attention. This verse uses a military example: soldiers getting distracted by non-military things can spell the difference between life and death; because God put us where we are, it is our responsibility to focus on that job, and therefore please God who gave it to us, as well as those on earth who were chosen by God to lead us.
- Godly men play by the rules. Verse 5 reads, an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. We cannot expect to receive recognition if we cheat our way to the top. Godly men are called to follow the rules and set good examples for others.
- Godly men are industrious. Verse 6 reads, it is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. The hard-working farmer deserves his share of the harvest because he invested quality time and effort into preparing it. We, likewise, would do best to also work conscientiously and with passion in our places of work, and expect by grace to receive what is justly due us.
- Godly men are just. In the same breath, Paul writes in verse 6 that the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. I understand this to also imply that godly men will also stand up to ensure those who deserve what they should be getting, in fact, get it.
- Godly men are thoughtful. Paul, in the last verse from this week’s selection, suggests we think about what we’ve just learned. He writes, Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. We can trust that God will reveal to us what He is trying to say in His Word if we don’t understand it right away.
These are six characteristics I’ve observed from four verses; I hope this was helpful to you. Did you see anything I may have missed? Want to share any positive experiences that have helped you grow in your walk as a Christian man in the workplace? Please share them in the Comments!