When it comes to false teaching, what matters is not really the form of the words spoken but their content and the intent behind them. Sometimes truth must be presented with harsh words, but often it can be conveyed with gentleness. Similarly, words of praise do not have to be insincere. Whether we are teachers or not, let us seek to speak only the truth, and let us do so with the gentleness or firmness the occasion requires.
Not everyone who works hard for Christ’s church receives honor and commendation from other people such as we see in Paul’s list of greetings. But even when no one else commends us for our work, the Lord sees what we are doing, and it is His evaluation that matters. Let us all serve the Lord in gratitude for our once-for-all salvation so that we will one day hear these words from God Himself: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”