Workers and bosses
I’m writing now about Christians that have to work all the time for somebody else. They have to really respect their bosses. If they don’t, people that are not Christians will rubbish God and say that he gets us to teach things that are wrong. If a worker’s boss is a Christian, that worker can’t think like this, “My boss is my Christian brother so I can be lazy.” No, that boss believes in Jesus, and that boss loves Jesus too, so the worker has to work harder for that boss.
You have to teach people those things, and tell them to live that way.
Some people teach the wrong things
Some people teach things that are wrong. They teach things that are different from the good things that our leader, Jesus Christ, taught. He taught things that help people live in a way that makes God happy. But the people that teach something different are wrong. Those people don’t really understand anything. They just want everyone to think they are important. They want to make trouble and get people to have arguments about words. If people start to argue, then they start to get jealous of each other. They think bad things, and they say bad things about each other. Then they keep on arguing with each other. You see, they listened to those wrong teachers and those teachers tricked them. Those wrong teachers made them think the wrong way, so they don’t really know the true message. They think that if they follow God’s way they will get a lot of money, but they are wrong.
Don’t be greedy for money
6-8 It is like this. At the time we were born, we didn’t bring any money with us into this life. And when we die, we can’t take any money with us. So while we live in this life, if we have enough food and clothes, we can be really happy. So now, if you follow God’s way, and if you don’t try to get a lot of money for yourself, you will be very happy, and you will get a lot out of life. But people that try to get lots of money, they let the devil trick them. The devil is the boss over the bad spirits. He gets those people to want things so much that they will do anything to get them. That’s how they fall into the devil’s trap. They do silly things, and bad things too. The devil really wrecks them. 10 If you love money a lot, you will do all sorts of bad things to get it. Some people went wrong like that. They wanted a lot of money, so they stopped believing in Jesus, and they got themselves into lots of trouble, and now they are really sad.
Live the right way
11 But Timothy, you belong to God. So you’ve got to keep away from all those bad things that I just told you about. Instead, you’ve got to try to do the right thing all the time, and try to do things that make God happy, and try to trust him more, and try to love people better, and try to keep going when things are tough, and try to be easy on other people, not hard on them. Those are the things you have to try to do all the time. 12 It’s like we are in a big fight against the devil and all his bad spirit mob. He wants us to go wrong and stop believing in Jesus. But Jesus gives us really good life that goes on for ever, so we have to keep on trusting Jesus for that life, and then we will win the fight against that bad spirit mob. Remember the time that you first believed in Jesus, and you told a lot of people about it. That was the time he called you to follow him, and to get that life that goes on for ever. So now keep on believing in Jesus, and keep on following him so that you keep on living that good life for ever.
Paul wanted Timothy to do everything in this letter
13-14 You know about God. He makes things live. And you know about Jesus. People took him to Pontius Pilate, and he told that boss the true story about himself.* Well, God is watching us now, and Jesus is listening to us. So I want you to promise me this one thing with both of them listening to you. I want you to promise me that you will do everything that I’m telling you to do in this letter. Promise me that you will do it all properly, so that nobody can say you did it wrong. And keep on doing it until we see Jesus Christ come back again.
15 God will bring Jesus back at the right time. God is the only really big boss. He is the really big boss over everybody. He is the really big boss over all other big bosses. He is the biggest boss over every other boss. 16 He is the only one that never dies, but he goes on and on for ever. He lives in light that is so bright that nobody can go near him. Nobody ever saw him, and nobody can see him now. We have to really respect him all the time, and we have to remember that he is really powerful. Yes, thats right.
17 There are some people that have a lot of money and a lot of things. You have to tell them that they can’t think that they are smart just because they are rich. They still have to pray to God, and they have to trust him for everything they really need. They can’t trust their money. But they have to trust God. He gives us everything we need to be happy. So we have to trust him, not trust money. 18 So tell them to use their money to do good things for other people. Tell them to be ready to give it to people that need it. 19 If they do that, they will really be giving it to God, and he will keep it for them for later on, after they die. In that way, they will get a good start in their new life. That is the really good life.
20 All right, Timothy, God gave you his good message, so you have to look after it properly. Make sure nobody changes it around. There are some people that talk a lot in a stupid way, and they say bad things about God. Don’t listen to them. They might reckon they know all about it, and they might say that you are wrong, but really, they are the ones that are wrong. 21 Some people followed them, and now those people have stopped believing in Jesus.
That’s all for now. I’m asking God to be really good to all you mob there.
From Paul
* 6:13-14 John 18:37