In the Tigers’ organization we’re working through a study with both the Minor League and Big League players where we’re exploring different characters of the Bible. The first character we looked at was Timothy.
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” —2 Timothy 2:1-2
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, we see him challenge his mentee with the idea of making ripples. When a rock is thrown into a pond it immediately begins to impact the water, causing ripples to spread out and multiply across the surface. In the same way, we as followers of Christ are to cause movement in the body of Christ.
Paul goes on to point out three specific examples of people who were causing ripples and making disciples. The first one is of a soldier training for battle; he doesn’t let the matters of the world distract him from the work his commander is calling him to do, so he is able to display obedience and faithful service to his fellow soldiers.
The second example is that of a competitor. This athlete is working hard, staying within the rules, and pushing himself to be his best so that he may receive the crown that all the athletes are striving for. He is to be the victor, representing first-class athleticism to the rest of the runners in the race.
The final ripple-maker mentioned is a hard-working farmer. This man never gives up; he’s out in the field every day providing for himself and his family, his workers, and his neighbors. After all his hard work and dedication, he will be the one to receive the first of the crops. He is the one that the rest of the farmers will seek to imitate.
These three men are all exemplary in their field of work. Not only do they set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd but they are portrayed as teachers—as ripple-makers. They take on the job of teaching and modeling good behavior for younger or less-experienced workers. As I reflect on the story as Paul instructs, it’s easy to imagine that the soldier spurred on those around him to fight hard, while the athlete brought the new guy to train with him, and the farmer might have taken the hired man under his wing.
In the same way we have been entrusted with God’s Word, which He has poured out into our hearts and minds so that we may pour out into others. As we set the tone in our own lives to be ripple-makers, we will see God use those ripples to multiply and impact the Kingdom in even greater ways.
“God’s Word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” —2 Timothy 2:9-10
—Jeff Totten, Chaplain of the Detroit Tigers
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