And the servant of the Lord must not strive
By "the servant of the Lord" is not meant any believer in common, but a minister of the word, as Timothy was; such an one ought not to strive about words to no profit, about mere words, and in a litigious, quarrelsome manner, and for mastery and not truth; though he may, and ought to strive for the faith of the Gospel; this is praiseworthy in him:
but be gentle unto all men;
not only to troubled minds, and wounded consciences, by supplying them with the precious promises and truths of the Gospel; and to backsliders, by restoring them in a spirit of meekness; but even to those who contradict the truth, and themselves, by mild and kind instructions.
Apt to teach,
showing a willingness to instruct the ignorant and obstinate, and making use of abilities given for that purpose, notwithstanding all discouragements; for it follows,
or "bearing evil"; not only the infirmities of weak brethren in the church, and the reproaches and persecutions of profane men in the world; but also the contradictions and oppositions of the adversaries of truth, so as not to be irritated and provoked, or to be discouraged, and desist from the defence of the Gospel.