For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. (2 Tim. 4:3)

Procrastination was my worst enemy in college. I would put off every assignment until the last possible moment, then dash off whole essays an hour or two before class—often running minutes late when my printer acted up.

Once, when I was absent during a day of class, I asked a friend what I had missed. She told me that nothing had changed, and our next assignment was due Friday. I had been certain the paper was due Wednesday, but when I heard what my friend said, I decided not to check the course syllabus or schedule, and instead to believe the word of a classmate that let me put off my work for two extra days.

In 2 Timothy, Paul made a profound observation: To be a good teacher, we must also be good students. We cannot preach the Word well—offering sensitive correction and encouragement to complicated people—if we ourselves prefer teachers who give us simplistic or incorrect instruction.

In this verse, Paul modeled sound instruction, giving readers a warning and an encouragement. He argued that all people prefer easy instruction—the kind that tells us what we want to hear, even when it conflicts with the truth. But 2 Timothy also tells us that if we avoid such false teachers, we ourselves can become better students of the Word, and better preachers of the gospel.

Consider whether the advice you’ve received aligns with Scripture.

Lindsey Priest is an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate and lives in Arkansas with her husband and two sons. She likes to read to the kids, play video games with her husband, and refurbish furniture.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.