Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm.
The Lord will repay him for what he has done.
2 Timothy 4:14
No worries – you are still in the right place for the uplift – I promise.
Don’t let this verse fool you.
It doesn’t seem uplifting on it’s surface, but it’s in there.
There are a lot of jerks in the world.
I would know, I drive through the Lowry Tunnel in Minneapolis.
Twice. A. Day.
Mean people are everywhere.
And as random and obscure as this verse in 2 Timothy is, I just love it.
Because we all have those people.
You know who I mean. (you KNOW)
The ones that are hardest to love.
The ones who have hurt us,
the ones who we just can’t forgive,
the ones who keep saying and doing the wrong thing,
the ones who look out for themselves and don’t worry about anyone else,
the ones who are just plain mean.
Especially these days, in our political environment, it feels like we just can’t get along.
So I love this verse.
I love that Paul just lays it out there.
I love how real it is – how human.
It almost makes me laugh when I read it.
We sometimes make Paul out to be this giant of the faith but he was just a dude.
One with faults and who sinned just like the rest of us.
And so here’s a moment we can all relate to.
He’s writing a letter of instruction to young Timothy, and tells him to stay away from this guy.
He’s no friend.
Alexander the metalworker is a jerk.
He has done me a lot of harm.
And yet, this human moment is a teaching one as well.
It’s a reminder that jumping in and calling people jerks isn’t really our job.
God will take care of him, Paul says.
It’s not on me to be judge and jury.
God will handle it.
See, I don’t think we like this part about following God all that much.
The part where we give up our right to label people as worthy or unworthy.
The part where we just keep loving God and loving others and letting God do the rest.
Love is hard.
Judgement is easy.
Hate is actually pretty easy too.
And Paul here is teaching young Timothy that there are jerks in the world and you can choose to not let them be in your life, but that’s it.
And here’s the thing.
God will judge them, yes.
But God will also call them worthy, and loved.
Even when they are the worst jerks they can be.
“God showed his love for us that even while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Which means THREE awesome and uplifting things for us today uplifters:
1. We don’t have to spend our time with or emotional energy on jerks. God’s got this.
- God loves jerks too. So we don’t have to try to do that either.
Which leads to the best part of the good news of this funny verse:
- God loves US when we’re jerks (which let’s be honest, sometimes happens)
Even while we’re jerks.
Before we’ve said sorry.
Before we’ve even realized what a jerk we’ve been.
Before all of that – God loves us.
Right in the middle of all the stuff that makes us jerks, there’s God, loving us as always.
Now that’s some good news.
For Alexander the metalworker,
and for you.