lørdag 4. februar 2017

Like a good soldier

A few days back, I wrote about the calling to join in suffering. Today, the same calling reappears, and this time Paul uses soldiers as role models for joining in suffering:
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 2:3
I have relatively limited experience from the military, and even though it was during the "Cold War", the wars were far away. My “suffering” was therefore limited to having to endure blisters and cramps during hard marches and drills, plus the encounter with my own conviction that even military combats are evil actions and not in congruence with the commandment to love one another.

However, I have also been a soldier for Jesus almost the whole of my life and have no problems with endorsing the comparison. As a soldier, I am visible. Thus, people will associate me with the negative experiences they have had with the Salvation Army in particular and Christianity in general, and I will be held accountable. This has led to physical assaults, spitting and lots of insults and profanity.

Fortunately, very many also have good experiences, and therefore they utter words of encouragement. The strange thing is that it can also be a painful challenge with 'popularity'. When "all" people like us, but few receives the gospel and even fewer are willing to join in the mission God has given us, it hurts. I believe that it was primarily this latter variant of "suffering", which Paul focused on. If I have a passion for the salvation of men, I will suffer when they reject the gospel. It is in such situations a good soldier does not lose heart, but looks up to “the commander of the army of the Lord” and asks:

“What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
Jos 5:14
Today 'manna':
I want to be a good soldier

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