I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
—2 Timothy 4:7-8
The Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy, usually referred to as Second Timothy, is one of the three pastoral epistles traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle. It is addressed to Timothy, a fellow missionary and traditionally is considered to be the last epistle he wrote before his death. The passage above is known as Paul’s Valedictory, or his final farewell to Timothy.
In our own final days, I think we should all strive to be able to say what Paul says here: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. We can never give up fighting the “good fight” and spreading the love that Jesus showed us in his time on earth. Jesus called out injustice and spread God’s love. Fighting the good fight is the only way we can make an impact on this world. It’s not always easy to live by example.
I’ll admit, I am not always a kind person. My unkindness is usually associated with impatience, though I have tried very hard to increase my capacity for patience, but there are times when it gets the better of me. My other great flaw is gossip. I wish I did not love gossiping and hearing gossip so much, but I do. However, I try my best to never maliciously gossip. We all have sins that we wish we could control better, and so, it’s a constant struggle. There’s only two things we can do: work diligently to improve on and correct our faults and when we fail, we need to ask God for forgiveness.
If we do continue to fight the good fight then “there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness.” The Lord, will be our righteous Judge, and if we do our best to follow his example, we will be rewarded in the next life.