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 aren't.
to present yourself -- He may put you before masses or before a few. But you are available 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.
a worker -- Not a big talker, a dreamer, 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. Nothing hidden, except more quality.
rightly handling the word of truth -- Do not swerve from the truth (verse 18) for quarrels about words (verse 14) or irreverent babble (verse 16). Stay centered on the gospel and tell it to them straight: industrial-strength grace pouring out on sinners through the finished work of Christ on the cross.
I thank C. J. Mahaney for inspiring me to think more closely about this verse: