“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” – 2 Timothy 2:1-3
I have long observed that the world places a high value on machismo, physical strength, and athleticism in men. The sports arena has nearly become a temple where stars are enshrined as gods and worshipped by masses. God certainly created man with the capacity to work and endowed him with a measure of physical strength that is good and useful. However, I observe that many (even within the churches of today) set a disproportionately low value on spiritual strength, integrity, and godly character, especially when we consider the value it places on the physical aspects. Even more tragically, having a serious commitment to the Lord, His Word, and the work of the local New Testament church has been deemed less than manly and is often relegated to the ladies. This is a product of worldly, sensual, and devilish wisdom! Satan loves to confuse and distort the order and plan that God has ordained for us as men.
In the scripture quoted above, the Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy, a younger pastor, to be a man among men. He charges him to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus; he also tells him (and us) how. “Endure hardness.” The athletes that so many admire did not burst forth from the womb ready to receive medals, trophies, and accolades, no matter how much natural talent they may have. They endured training and purposefully conditioned themselves to reach their peak condition. Those who are saved by God’s grace need to train, to submit to our great Captain as good soldiers, and to devote ourselves wholly to His service. We cannot meddle and dabble in the ways of the world and become strong Christian men all at the same time. There must be a resolve and separation of our hearts to do the will of God. The practice by nature is often difficult, but it is necessary and worthwhile.
Lest any of us fall into that prevailing train of thought that the church is the work of the pastor, Paul charges Timothy to commit the doctrines of the Word of God to “faithful men.” Are you under that heading? Does your life place you in the category of such “faithful men?” No one can realistically hope to reach goals if he does not consistently work toward them. No one will be used by God in any lasting way if he is not found faithful. A strong Christian man does not look to his wife and ask where or if (God forbid!) the family will attend church. He does not stay at home to man the couch to watch the Sunday night ball game and send the wife on to Sunday night meeting either. Man, be faithful! Be one of those to whom the Word of God is faithfully entrusted!