A couple of weeks ago, I shared my ‘word for the year.’ A little while later, it occurred to me that I ought to have a verse for the year as well, something that related back to my word—intentional—and helped maintain my focus. Second Timothy 2:15 is that verse and in The Living Bible translation, it reads like this:
Work hard so God can say to you, “Well done.” Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what his Word says and means.
According to Webster’s online dictionary, the word “ashamed” means “feeling shame, guilt or disgrace; feeling inferior or unworthy.”
“Examine” means “to look at (something) closely and carefully in order to learn more about it, to find problems, etc.”
So we can rephrase the verse as “Work hard so God can say to you, ‘Well done.’ Be a good workman, one who does not need to feel guilty, inferior or unworthy when God looks closely and carefully at your work. Know what his Word says and means.”
The commentary in my Transformation Study Bible explains that the workman whose “work is below standard...cannot be accepted. It means loss of reward. In fact, in Paul’s day, a builder was fined if he failed to follow the specifications.”
When I think of “examine,” I think of exposing something, of shining a light on it. When God shines his light on my work, I don’t want to feel embarrassed or ashamed. I want to hear, “Good job. Keep running the race and win the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24 allusion).
This year it is my goal to be intentional in several areas of life. As I rehearse and meditate on 2 Timothy 2:15 , I believe it will help me stay on track as an effective worker. When I am intentional, I not only produce a greater volume of work, but, I believe, a better quality of work as well. This is not for pride or self-glorification, but to fulfill the Word of God in Colossians 3:23-24 concerning me:
Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men. Remember that you will get your reward from the Lord. He will give you what you should receive. You are working for the Lord Christ.