S36P3 – Saintly encouragement: all will be bold
1 Thes. 5:14-15
We urge you, believers, admonish those who are out of line, encourage the timid, help the weak, be very patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek that which is good for one another and for all people.
The members of every family are like the characters in a play fitting different roles. For example, the three of us kids who grew up in my house had very distinct personalities. There was the elder son who wanted to do his own thing and not be bothered by his younger siblings. There was the middle child and only daughter, who was incredibly assertive and secure. There was the younger son, who relied primarily on his humor and intelligence to gain favor with others. In God’s family, we see that we are designed by God to be specific individuals. However, that does not mean that there are no traits we should share. One of the traits that God desires all of his children to have is boldness. Although the Holy Spirit manifests himself in us through peacefulness, He is not one to be timid. When our brothers and sisters are limited or confined by their timidity, it is for the bold to encourage them to walk in the Spirit’s courage.
There are some things that God wishes us all to be. It is for all of us to be compassionate, not just for some. It is for all of us to be loving, not just for some. It is for all of us to be faithful, not just for some. And it is for all of us to be bold. If we consider the new testament characters who were responsible for spreading the early Christian church, we see that they share certain traits, one of which is boldness. There is no other way that one could speak the truth of God in the face of threatened death. For one to be a martyr and die for the faith, timidity will not serve. The timid one will relent in the face of such pressure. The bold one will be even more emboldened by persecution. Jesus himself was the perfect example of how bold a Christian should be. When He needed to speak the truth in the face of opposition, He spoke according to the will of God even unto death. Only a bold Savior could have fulfilled the plan that the Father had laid out for him.
Scripture tells us that we will encounter opposition in this world. We do not stand on the popular side, and we do not live in a popular manner. God gives us instruction to prepare us for how we must respond to the opposition waiting for us. Yes, there are times when He will instruct us to be silent. However, we are to be bold even in our silence. It is not for us to back down from standing for God and his truth. God designs us as individuals, and we each have his imprint on us. While we are not to be robotic duplicates of each other, we all must have the boldness of the Spirit. If our brothers and sisters struggle in this respect, we must encourage them and help them grow in courage Father, thank You for the courage you give us to stand in the face of opposition in this world, and prompt us to help build that in others.