The Thessalonian correspondence and Paul’s letters to Timothy have been a great reminder to me about important principles in ministry; in particular for anyone who has been in a teaching situation. It is easy sometimes, in the quest to “rightly handle the word of truth”, to lose sight of the “right motivation in handling the word of truth”. In these chapters, Paul sets forth at least 3 conceptual reminders for those charged with teaching the Word. They are 1) paraklesis, 2) oikonomios and 3) craomai.
Regarding paraklesis, as outlined in a previous post on 1 Thessalonians 2, Paul uses this term to define teaching as “exhortation”…gentle and gospel focused, not deceitful, impure or motivated by a desire to “please people”. In 1 Timothy 1, oikonomios is the goal of teaching…”to further the administration (literally household law) of God (NASB)”. With that goal in mind he reminds us about proper motivation as love, pure heart, good conscience and sincere faith. Later in that same chapter the concept craomai enters…namely “rightly handling the law/teaching (literally handling the law lawfully)”. This is a tall order of ideals which one does well to keep in the foreground of any stutation where God’s word is being opened and taught.