One of my favorite things about being a dad is the restoration of fascination with the basic building blocks of reality that had become a monotonous part of my existence. This restoration is possible because my son has entered an alien world full of new sights, sounds, smells, and concepts and I’m the one that is supposed to guide him and prepare him. Any creature or item that could loosely gain nutrition from outside sources results in the question, “Papa, what does this thing eat?” Some creatures eating habits are easier to answer than others, some are much more complicated than others like explaining to a three-year old that plants eat sunlight or that clouds don’t really “eat” anything except maybe airplanes. Sometimes I have to tell him that I don’t know but then we set out on an adventure to learn together.
Ultimately, there is great joy in sharing the knowledge I’ve gained in my time on earth with someone who has nothing but ignorance and curiosity. As a father, it is my privilege to share and teach the wonders of the Lord and His Creation to my child.
The same patience in teaching and guiding that Heavenly Father has for us, we should provide for one another. Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2, “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” The context is dealing with the charge of Timothy, the pastor/elder, as he endeavors in the call of pastoral ministry. However, the application of teaching with complete patience is relevant for everyone.
Those of us who have been saved for any length of time and have accumulated a deeper understanding of the Lord and theology should never look down on someone else’s ignorance or spiritual naivety. Instead, it should be our love and joy to share the great things of the Lord with them! Ignorance and naivety is not an opportunity to mock or sneer but to share in the joy of learning. How can we align with Paul’s goal of presenting everyone mature in Christ if we refuse to teach with complete patience?
Teaching takes time but the investment in the soul with the Word of God and patience bears great results. It is a sacred privilege to be entrusted with a soul; whether its someone you see once a week at church or your child whom you see every day, each soul is valuable and represents an opportunity to showcase the great things of God.