“continue in what you have learned…”

  • Pete Johnson
Old man holding child

 When I was old enough to carry a hammer for my grandpa, who was a master carpenter, he would allow me on occasion, to “work” with him. He taught me the correct way to pull nails out of boards, use a saw, and how to follow instructions. Sometimes, when I thought he was not looking, I would take shortcuts because I thought my way would work better. The results of most of those “shortcuts” were merely a longer more difficult way of completing the task, with no real danger of hurting myself or others. I still remember most of what Papa taught me to this day, but there have been times when I took shortcuts and paid the price.

One such time was regarding the moving of a ladder. One winter here in Alaska I was working on a garage door. It was around 14 degrees or so. I was using a hammer and was going from one area to another. Our garage is not that big so I was close enough not to have to fold up the ladder to move it, I was just pushing it around the garage. I was always taught not to leave tools on the top of a ladder, kind of an easy simple thing to remember, or so you would think. However, in my desire to get the job completed and get out of the cold I failed to adhere to what I had been taught so many years ago. As I was sliding the ladder the hammer fell off, claw first, and it sunk into my face right above my upper lip!  I didn’t realize, because of the cold, that the claw of the hammer had gouged my upper lip. I just felt the pain of the hammer slamming into my face. In my aggravation, I almost had to replace the garage door window!

It wasn’t until I left the garage and my face began to thaw out did I realize the damage I had caused because of my failure to do things the right way. Remembering and doing what we have been taught can be the difference between living a victorious Christian life or a failed depressive painful one. 

Paul wrote this to Timothy, a young man who was taking on a big task, pastoring the church at Ephesus.

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (II Timothy 3:14–15)