“Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13 NLT).
I remember when I was sewing most of my clothes–primarily because of a home economics class in which I had to learn to read a pattern–how difficult it was for me to understand the pattern. The one thing I noticed, though is when I had “repeated”using the pattern often enough, I had no problem getting the results I wanted in the clothing I wanted to wear. This was in high school–when we didn’t have much money and fabric was considerably cheap. I was able to use patterns from a neighbor and learned to modify the pattern to suit my own tastes. I made jackets, pantsuits (before they were popular) skirts, dresses, belts–whatever I wanted to wear. I even learned to modify clothing by adding “lace or trimming” to lengthen a gown for someone else.
When my daughter first began school, I made her school clothes and then somewhere along the way, I stopped sewing and lost sight of how to read the patterns.
When we don’t practice doing a thing–we lose sight on how to do it. Like learning a foreign language–we must practice or we lose our ability to remember it. Typing requires continual practice to maintain accuracy and speed. The same principle applies to–well, just about anything–we must practice and hold onto patterns in learning that make learning worthwhile.
If this works for learning, it will also work for teaching–anything. When we develop wholesome patterns–that work every time–we create situations in which we can be assured of the results. And this is the admonition Paul was giving to Timothy (and us)–make sure the pattern is shaped by faith and love we have in Christ Jesus.
If what we teach is not based upon the same pattern–foundation in The Word–the results will be unpredictable and this is how division in the body of Christ is created–people have forgotten to hold onto the pattern of faith and love.
Establishing patterns in life–make differences–especially when we want to achieve specific results–time after time–that glorify God!
Hold onto the patterns of wholesome teaching based upon The Word and be assured of the results that have a foundation in The Word, shaped by faith and love!