…having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
2 Timothy 3:5, 12, ESV
Two truths interlocked, verses apart—the godly will not be fakers and they will be persecuted for their godliness.
Am I faker? The potential for that truth haunts me. Not that I can cognitively identify specific things that constitute such a notion, but is my heart true to the Gospel entirely? Do I do enough to allow God’s power to reign in my life and ministry, or do I squash the move of the Spirit early and often? Am one of the “avoidable ones?” Those questions are for the persona I have on display in spiritual, church settings.
The question that arises from the second verse is equally as bothersome—how persecuted has my life been? Is the public persona that non-believers see in and through me cause even the slightest hesitation on their part as they interact with me? Or am I just “one of the boys?” The line is delicate—to walk among unbelievers with a true intent of influencing them for Christ without being influenced myself into a world of complacency and worldly acceptance. Am I different? Really different? Or have I been placed into a little box of “religious leaders” who are kept at bay by a starvation diet of fringe adherents to the ways of the world?
And at the end—am I the same person in each of my personas?
I struggle to know if I am making a difference in the world and community in which You have placed me. I see signs—small signs—of influence. Like most of the people and leaders I know personally, I want to make a huge impact—is that, in itself, confirmation that I have gone to the dark side of worldly society? Content and complacent are not the same thing. I am Yours, broken and healed, then broken again, sometimes in the same places, at other times in slightly different places. May my confidence in You, Your power and Your love never waver, even if the confidence in myself, my minuscule gifts and my commitment to the cause waver by my actions, my non-actions and my weak reactions. Weakness IS AN OPTION, perhaps my only option. For in my weakness, You are strong…
In Jesus’ name, Amen.