Four things that have been resonating in my mind recently. Two of these are Bible verses and two are from a video of a good friend of mine who served in the Navy.
2nd Timothy 1:7- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”
2nd Samuel 17:8 “You know your father and his men. They are warriors as fierce as a wild bear whose cubs have been stolen. Your father is an experienced soldier. He will not camp with the troops tonight.”
“If you can use adversity correctly, you can accomplish great things.”
“If you’re not getting better, you’re ******* dying”
I believe that the personification of a Christian, especially Christian men, in today’s society is one of someone who obeys the rules, goes to church because he or she is supposed to since the Bible says so, is passive in many of his different dealings rather those be work-related or recreational, and someone who won’t fight. For anyone who has grown up in church, we heard all the bible stories. Most likely, these stories were represented with cute little graphics that were the farthest thing from a blood bath. All the stories were rated G for the most part. Somewhere in there, people have believed that all our Bible characters were specially anointed and were perfect examples of a Christian. My most favorite example of this is the story of the powerful woman, Esther. If you have never paid attention to the details of her story, you are missing out on some crazy facts.
With these variables combined, it is easy to see how the world can view a Christian as passive or a loser. The always quoted line “turn the other cheek” is said mockingly as people figure that Christians will take abuse over and over again. I will tell you one dude in the Bible who, in many cases, didn’t turn a cheek and took calculated actions to fix a problem: God.
Go read how he flooded the whole earth and killed EVERYONE except for Noah and his family. Go read in the book of Judges about how God caused an entire Midianite army to turn on themselves and kill each other. Go read about how He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. God isn’t just some passive guy sitting on a throne of flowers. He truly lives in a spirit of power, love, and grace, and fights against fear and timidity when it comes to furthering his Kingdom.
I love the verse in 2nd Samuel, and the reference used to describe David as a “wild bear whose cubs have been stolen.”A mamma bear is probably one of the most ferocious animals in the world when her cubs are in jeopardy. Nothing will stop her from getting them back. Trust me, I have found myself between a bear and her cubs before. David himself was a man after God’s own heart, yet he committed adultery. On top of that, he made it so that man whose wife he had relations with was put in a position where he would have a very high chance of dying, and that man did die. Even with that on his resume, David, to me, is one of the purest examples of a man who lived with power, love, and self-discipline. The man wrote poetry, killed bears, lions, and a giant as a child, and he led many armies into battles. To say David was timid is a far reach. Yes, David made mistakes, but he was genuine in his repentance and found forgiveness through his Savior. David is the kind of warrior every Christian you strive to be.
Don’t be a loser. To say that you need to be squeaky clean and be perfect to be a Christian comes from the idea of being religious. Religious people judge quickly and can always find faults with all your actions. Even the actions we take that are direct commands from God can be seen as evil or the wrong move in the eyes of someone who puts religion above their Savior. A warrior of Christ can see all of those faults and see the good that will come out of those things. Take Paul in the New Testament. Before Paul was Paul, he was Saul, aka the Christian killer who was straight up murdering Christians with rocks. Even while that was going on, Jesus said that Saul was soon going to be an instrument for expanding His Kingdom.
Paul was a warrior and devoted his life to spreading the good news of Jesus. Shipwrecked, snake bit, and imprisoned, his story is straight out of a movie script. Paul was put on this earth for a purpose. That purpose was to show that the greater the adversity, the greater the recovery and the greater the story. Paul used his screw-ups to bring others to Jesus. This is not only Paul’s purpose, but it is every Christian’s purpose in this life.
Taking the two verses and two quotes from above, we can begin to understand how we can fight fear and timidity along with the things in life that so easily ensnare us. The world wants us to become complacent and not grow. If you are a Christian and you are not seeking growth, you are losing ground. When this happens and it will because we are sin-natured, the world will jump at the opportunity to call you a loser. Continued actions in the state of timidity is not what we as Christians are called to do.
Our own internal voice will reason with this and will find ways to make this “loser mentality” a reality in our lives. There is one person who will never call you a loser: Jesus. He loved you before you fell short and failed. He loves you as you are going through that failure, and He will love you in the aftermath. The greater the hardship, the greater the recovery. Fight through that adversity with the ferociousness of a bear whose cubs have been stolen. Seek repentance when repentance is necessary and ask for forgiveness when forgiveness is needed. Don’t be timid. Don’t be a loser. Be self-disciplined, be powerful, and above all else, love.