scared to death

I recently was asked to attend a party which I was regrettably unable to attend. But this wasn’t your usual run of the mill party either. A student who had been a part of my ministry when I worked with Middle School students was turning thirteen and his dad had planned something special. He had invited pastors, teachers, coaches, small group leaders, male family members and others who he knew had an influence on his son’s life. It was designed as a rite of passage for his son in order to validate him stepping into manhood. And although I wasn’t able to attend I was able to share a bit through the wonders of technology and made a video for this student. The verse I chose to share with him came from 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” I look back on that verse and wonder why it stuck out to me to be the one verse out of the vast patchwork of scripture that I would choose to share with a “boy” stepping into “manhood”. Why would timidity or fear be something that I felt the need so strongly to warn against?

Maybe it is because of what I see…

I see men in our day and age who are scared. I don’t think that they are necessarily scared of enemies or boogey men or anything else you want to conjure up out of the darkness. I think they are scared of letting God call them into something greater. It’s almost as if we feel like we are assigned certain roles in life and we are called to fulfill those and to step out of those roles would end in tragedy. And so we become paralyzed…shells of who would should be. It’s almost as if we are scared to be all that God has called us to; one might even say scared to death. But look at what the verse says. We are given a Spirit of power, love and self-discipline. These are, or at least should be, very masculine traits. I think where we error is that we feel like they have to come from within ourselves when clearly these are from the Spirit God gives us. It is this very same Spirit that raised Christ to life and can even bring us back from the dead.

So why are we scared? Or should I say, what are we scared of? If death cannot harm us and the grave cannot hold us back then why aren’t we setting the world on fire for Christ through Power, Love and Self-Discipline? Why aren’t the men of the kingdom of God becoming the shining example of what it means to live life to the fullest? I believe a new day is dawning. A day when the men of the church truly embrace the Spirit God has given them in order to become men of Power (in a way that sets captives free, gives sight to the blind, and pleads the case of the oppressed), Love (in a way that seeks truth and honors others above itself) and self-discipline (a trait given from God to be able to stand above reproach). And if this becomes our defining marks…then what do we have to fear…

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