Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best — An all-out effort measured by who you are, not by who you are not and can never be. But by God’s grace you can do your best with who you are.
to present yourself — He may put you before masses, or he may put you before a few. But you are available to him for whatever role he thinks is most strategic for the redemption of the world in your generation. You are “ready for every good work” (verse 21).
to God — Not to people, primarily, but to God, who knows quality work when he sees it.
as one approved — By God’s standards, which will wonderfully satisfy your own conscience, though your divinely approved work will inevitably dissatisfy some people.
a worker — Not a big talker, not a dreamer, not a theorist, but a lover of solid accomplishment.
who has no need to be ashamed — The closer his work is inspected, the better it gets. There is nothing hidden, except even deeper quality.
rightly handling the word of truth — Do not swerve from the truth (verse 18) for petty quarrels about words (verse 14) or irreverent babble (verse 16). Stay centered in hyper-focus on the “of first importance” gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-5), and tell it to them straight: industrial-strength grace pouring out on extreme sinners through the finished work of Christ on the cross and the endless power of the Holy Spirit.
This is a pastoral ministry God will bless.