Explore The Bible Study: Diligent

10:10 AM

The word “diligent” is not one we use in everyday conversations, but it can describe a positive character trait. Someone who is diligent is characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort. In LifeWay's Explore the Bible Study: Diligent, Paul reminds Timothy about the importance of remaining diligent as a follower of Christ.

2 Timothy 2:14-26 is a challenge that we must all remember, especially considering the toxic, increasingly antagonistic culture in which we live. As you read the passage, filter through the lens of this target:

Believers should diligently learn the Truth and how to clearly demonstrate the tenants of the gospel through how they live, act, relate, and, yes, even disagree with others. 

Paul knew that, in order for Timothy (and us) to be able to do this, we would have to be diligent. 2 Timothy 2:15 is the challenge Paul gives: Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 CSB)

Consider using verse 15 as the pivotal verse for presenting all of Paul's teachings in verses 14-26. The downloadable teaching ideas provide an illustration that could be personalized in order to help your group understand more fully the reason for diligence.

Illustration for 2 Timothy 2:15
Imagine for a moment you are back in high school. Your parents have saved money so that you can participate in the band. They have purchased a brand new musical instrument for you; they have invested additional funds and time so that you can participate; they sacrificed time, work, and schedules in order to get you to practices; and now they are sitting in the auditorium waiting for you to perform. As you enter the concert stage with the band, you see them sitting in the auditorium. You realize all they did for you and now you want to make sure you do your best. You want them to “approve” or be proud of your hard work, your diligence. You don’t want to be ashamed so you desire to play your part as perfectly as possible. You aren’t afraid of losing them as parents, but you surely want them to be proud. You don’t want to let them down.

This is the kind of picture Paul is painting for Timothy. Paul wants Timothy to present Himself and his works before God (his Heavenly Father) with confidence, knowing he did it with excellence and integrity.

Some Basic Points to Drive Home:
  • If we are to invest in the faithful, then we must be diligent in living the truth in a way that doesn’t lead people astray.
  • Paul likened false teaching to an infection that would spread like gangrene. If believers do not take diligent measures to avoid and refute biblical heresy, it will contaminate person after person, church after church.
  • “Diligence is not cultivated overnight. Diligence is a muscle that is strengthened with time and consistency.” -- Audrey French, Truth Matters Ministries: 5 Characteristics of a Diligent Person.
Case Study Option
When looking at 2 Timothy 2:16-26, consider guiding the group to complete the following case studies as an entire group or to work in teams.
  1. You see a Social Media post or a news article that presents a view contradictory to what you believe. Based on Paul’s instructions, how should you respond?
  2. You are talking with a co-worker or a family member who states something that isn’t aligned with your biblical worldview. How should you respond to them based on Paul’s instructions?
  3. You encounter someone in church or your group whose beliefs are not aligned with Scripture. Based on Paul’s instructions, how should you respond to him or her?

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