I often hear people lament the fact that there are so few believers left in the world. We are outnumbered. We are the remnant.
Except it isn’t true. We have just lost our nerve.
In the first chapter of 2 Timothy, we hear the words, “I remind you, to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord… but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”
Power. Love. Self control.
These are three qualities that can be difficult to balance, unless we ask for the help of the Holy Spirit.
It is easy to use power. To speak without charity, empathy, or compassion. Just speak the truth with no concern for tact. To let our words weigh down the yokes we place on the shoulders of others. To let our judgement dig a moat around the perimeter of our parish.
It is easy to love. To desire the good of others, while reserving honesty and just focusing on being a comfort in this hard world. To accept the state of others without challenging them to a greater ideal.
It is easy to maintain self control. To look first in the mirror and make the changes necessary without ever venturing bravely into the public square. It is easier to turn the other cheek when it is done in silent dissent.
No. We must bravely venture out, armed with all three qualities. They temper each other while, at the same time, they sharpen each other. “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self control.”
If you feel alone in your faith, outnumbered in your morals, and like one of the last of the Church, it is only because people like you aren’t sharing your faith openly. This is not the time for cowards. This is the time to “bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”
Questions? Comments? Email David at firstname.lastname@example.org.BACK TO LIST