Okay, this is it, just in time for Ash Wednesday, the conclusion of my collection of random, lesser known comments from Paul. This exercise was explained here: http://spiral-scratch.blogspot.com/2006/01/i-have-soft-spot-for-zealots.html
Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with complete purity.
Whoever does not provide for relatives and especially family members has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Religion with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it. If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.
Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true
Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness.
The word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.
Endure your trials as discipline. At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated by healed.
Our God is a consuming fire.
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.
Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body.
I think within the four selections, you'll find some surprising comments. I still have ambivalent feelings about the guy but I do admire anyone who'll go out on a limb for no apparent gain even if I disagree with what they say.
I'll try to do something a little different during Lent...and try to keep the surprises coming.