Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God's people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out.
Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.
Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they're not backed by a godly life,
they accumulate as poison in the soul. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples,
throwing believers off stride and missing the truth by a mile by saying the resurrection is over and done with.
Meanwhile, God's firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones: God knows who belongs to him. spurn evil, all you who name god as god.
In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets - some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage.
Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.
Run away from infantile indulgence. Run after mature righteousness - faith, love, peace - joining those who are in honest and serious prayer before God.
Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights.
God's servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool,
working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth,
enabling them to escape the Devil's trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)