Command and teach these things. 1 Timothy 4:11 (NIV).
Paul doesn’t mess around. He says “command and teach.” Not “go get some proper seminary training first and then wear nice robes and sing boring music.” And he doesn’t say “you need a college degree for this.” And Paul doesn’t say “think it over and, if you’re feeling up to it, speak up when you get the chance.”
Command and teach already. Very Captain Kirk: boldly go where no man has gone before (or where many have gone but their love has grown cold). Speak up and speak out.
These words come in the chapter where Paul has given out some broad instructions to his protégé. The goal is to minister to others as Christ ministered. The aim is to build up the body of believers into more closely following our Savior in how we think, speak, and act. It isn’t about a bunch of rules: it’s about Jesus.
And to better follow Jesus, when one is called to speak up for the faith, COMMAND and teach. Don’t mess around with it. Don’t walk around thinking “I can’t do this” because you can; because His Spirit will do the talking and teaching for you. Stand up and be counted and speak the truth plainly, boldly, convincingly. Even people of timid nature can be forceful in their convictions. Command and teach. Do it confidently because the power you have to do it isn’t your own. It is the power of Him who sends you: the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Yet remember a few things. The position and ability to command is given by God but respected by men. Here on the third rock, we earn respect. If you command and teach in God’s name by humbly submitting to His authority, you’ll be shocked at what He does through you. When people recognize that, they’ll listen in respect.
And teach wisely. There’s no shame in not knowing how to do something, but there is shame in knowing you need to know and then doing nothing about it. Do it in your own way, using your talents and your personality. Learn to teach and teach to learn. Do both in submission to Christ.
Finally, before commanding or teaching, go first to Jesus and seek His counsel. He is the King of the World and knows what He’s doing. Pray. Immerse yourself in the Word. Open your heart to Him and wait on Him to act; go Psalm 46. He will, in His own good time, and everyone will see it.
When He does, get up and get going. Command and teach. Don’t be a jerk about it; Jesus was never a jerk. We shouldn’t be either. But stand firm and speak up.
For further reading: Psalm 46:10-11, 1 Timothy 5:7, 1 Timothy 4:12
Lord, put Your words in my mind and mouth, and help me to command and teach in Your name. Help me to do it humbly, wisely, and confidently.