For Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. - 2 Timothy 4:10
Recently I have been more “frank” with people about what I really believe. In fact, I have been telling people lately that I changed my name from John Hopler to Frank Hopler. In this verse, Paul was being “Frank.”
Paul tells of a man named Demas who deserted him. This Demas loved the present world and as a result was not faithful in his relationships. So Paul warns Timothy about Demas. Paul could have not named his name. He could have simply said, “Watch out for those who love this present world!” But Paul chose to be frank. He singled out Demas in his communication with Timothy.
We might ask, “Why was Paul naming this individual? Was this a kind and loving step to take? Shouldn’t Paul be more gracious in his speech?” I think Paul was being loving in his communication. He was full of grace and full of truth. We cannot be full of grace if we are not speaking the truth. This Demas could mislead many others down the wrong road. Paul wanted Timothy to know what happened so that he could warn others as well.
Certainly we are to be careful in painting a negative picture of another person. But when there are people like Demas who are resolute in going down a certain path, it is good to “be frank” in our communication with those who will be affected by that person’s unfaithfulness.
May God give us wisdom as we speak about others. May we always be gracious in honoring all men. But may we also be bold in calling out those whose lives and teaching pose a danger to us and to those we serve.
Great Commission Churches
One-Year Bible Reading
2 John 1:1-13