Preach the Word of God Even When It’s Difficult

“Preach the word; be instant in season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4: 2-5).

Sadly, so many of us believe that to be a Christian means that we should avoid any action that may cause others to become angry and that we must be tolerant and forgiving in all things. While these actions appear noble on the surface, they are a perversion of scripture and a misrepresentation of what God asks of us. The confusion this belief creates is why so many have little confidence, little conviction and low self-esteem and why our current society tolerates sin of every kind.

Sadly, we have misunderstood that much of what we read in scripture about tolerance and forgiveness refers to how we are to interact with other believers. We have not understood that scripture offers different advice when addressing unbelievers who engage in actions that are displeasing to God. Titus 1:10 tells us, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers….” And in Titus 1:16 “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”

Our role as a Christian is to teach, to rebuke, and to exhort others to live as God asks us to live. Our role is to disengage from political correctness when it honors or encourages sin. Our role is to be an example to others by our personal conduct and to rebuke sin with the authority of God’s words. Titus 2:7-8 tell us, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity. Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.” Titus 2:15 tells us, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority….”

In a world where we are so busy that we cannot find the time to learn scripture, we no longer speak with authority. If we do not know God’s words or what is meant by them, and we find ourselves bereft of the information needed to successfully stand as a Christian, we retreat from a debate about these issues and certainly from rebuking sin. The sinner is not the only one harmed by this action. The believer is also harmed by their inaction which results in a lack of self esteem which leads us further into the complacency that Satan desires.

We understand that we should learn God’s words. We understand that we should stand up for our faith and those things that God tells us we should and should not do. However, when we do not know God’s words sufficiently enough for us to take a stand, we allow political correctness, Satan’s new and powerful weapon, to guide us instead. The resultant psychological ramifications are great. We damage our soul and we damage our self-esteem when we continue to brush aside our duty to God and the principles we know He wants us to uphold. We allow Satan to “take God’s words from the minds of men” and become lukewarm in our service to God. We are clearly warned in Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge……”

Without self esteem, without a sense of who we are and what we stand for, we cannot be spiritually successful spouses, parents, friends, or neighbors for we cannot be effective children of God. A lack of self-esteem, which grows out of a lack of understanding, can harm every aspect of our lives. All of our relationships, including our relationship with God, are adversely affected and this also adversely affects our health and well being. Scripture tells us that to know and acknowledge God is “health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3:8)

Proverbs 3:3-6 tells us, “Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.”

In scripture, the word truth refers to the word of God. Scripture teaches that unless everything we do and think and say, is based on the word of God, we will be unable to discern between perverted doctrine and sound wisdom and without it we will stumble. Proverbs 3:23 tells us, “Then shall thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.” Proverbs 3:26 promises, “For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.”

These words assure us that if we learn God’s words, do our best to apply them, and speak them to stand up for biblical principles, we will never be afraid, never lack confidence, and never lose our peace. Philippians 4:7 assures us, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:19 says, “……God shall supply all your need……” And 1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

We must also cast off all confusion if we do not want to overlook sin or become tolerant of sin. We must, as Christians, stand up for godly principles and become a beacon of stedfastness, and do this without anger, judgment or the withholding of forgiveness. We must be longsuffering and patient with sinners, never seek revenge, yet recognize and rebuke sin not only in ourselves but in those we love and in those we wish to help. We must pray for guidance and seek direction through scripture. All these increase our self-esteem and our confidence because we trust God’s words to direct our path.

God has promised us His never ending help when we learn His words and apply them. No one can ask for better promises and no one can provide a better gift to their children than by teaching them these truths. Thus, as Christians, to gain self-esteem, to conquer self doubt and to dispel the psychological ramifications of fear and anxiety that society imposes on us, we need to immerse ourselves in the word of God. Then when we stand up, confident, to fight for our faith, and use God’s own words, He will reward us with the self-esteem we need to bring forth our strength, courage and conviction when sharing the principles of how to be a good Christian.

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