The voices that you listen to will influence the choices that you make!
That is the theme of this chapter. So let me say it again: The voices that you listen to will influence the choices that you make!
As Paul continues to coach his young protege Timothy, he references three kinds of voices that that have potential influence over us…
1) The Voice of Bad Influences – In verses 1-9 Paul gives a pretty detailed list of character qualities to look out for that are descriptive of bad influences. He lists no less than 19 things fit this category. And then he says very concisely: “Avoid such people.” (verse 5)
An interesting tidbit – in verse 8 Paul mentions the names of Jannes and Jambres to Timothy as if he would know exactly who Paul was talking about. These names are not mentioned anywhere in Scripture but Jewish oral tradition identifies them as the magicians in Pharaoh’s court who attempted to replicate the miracles that Moses did in Pharaoh’s presence.
2) The Voice of Good Influences – In verses 10-14 Paul points to himself as an example of someone worth imitating and who’s voice is worth listening to. Most of us would not have the confidence to point to ourselves and say “follow me as I follow Christ.” But Paul’s confidence is rooted in the relationship he has with the Lord through Jesus and he knows that Timothy would do well to pursue Christ with the same determination that Paul does.
3) The Voice of Scripture – In verses 15-17 Paul reminds Timothy to be a man of the Word. It is the Word of God that will make him wise for salvation. It is the Word of God that will profit him as he pays attention to what to do and what not to do. It is the Word of God that will equip him for the ministry that God has called him to. If Timothy wants to be a man who finds his identity in Christ, who’s happiness is not dependent on the circumstances of this world, and who invests his life for eternal purposes – then he will have to be a man of the Word – a man who listens intently to the voice of God.
And the same is true for us.
The voices that we listen to will influence the choices that we make!