Timothy was in trouble.
If you want to see the kind of people he was working with, just read chapter three of 2 Timothy. Paul isn’t talking about people in the world. He is talking about people in the church, the kind of people who were causing Timothy to have problems. He didn’t just have to deal with them. He was becoming like them.
Paul also wasn’t talking about some far off time when these people would arise. There were already there. It’s hard to give your life for ungrateful, unholy, slanderous, conceited, pleasure-seeking, unforgiving people, but that’s what Timothy was being called to do. It is what Paul had done. Most of all, it was what Jesus had done.
Note this: Service in the church is hard because we often expect those we serve to be better and act better than they do. When they don’t, we get disappointed and frustrated and, well, we become like them. We get in the same trouble Timothy was in.
To all who serve in the Lord’s kingdom, regardless of what others do or the opposition we face, we must continue in the life we have learned, adhering to the standards of the saved life revealed in scripture.