Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier (II Timothy 2:3,4).
This is a day that has been set aside in America to remember those who served in conflict in the Armed Forces. The memory of these good soldiers calls to mind the words in our text, where Paul adjures each of us to be disciplined and hardened soldiers of Jesus Christ.
This verse is well known to many people, but there is little doubt that we view this verse in far too shallow a fashion. In these days of relative peace and prosperity, we lose sight of what it was really like to be in armed conflict, and tend to think this passage is teaching that we should not be overly materialisticthat we should be willing to give up some of the pleasures and luxuries of life to be more effective soldiers of Jesus Christ.
We need, however, to remember that a soldier in a real war gives up virtually all comforts, perhaps even going without meals or a place to sleep. Totally left behind are father, mother, brother, sister, wife, children. Nothing can be permitted to entangle the soldier, for his sole duty is to serve, obey, and please his commanding officereven to die, if need be, on the field of battle. Without such commitment, the battle will likely be lost.
Could it be that we who are soldiers in the service of Jesus Christ have not been the disciplined and dedicated soldiers that we should be? Have we, in essence, been playing at warnot having the discipline or desire to make the sacrifices necessary for victory? Since ours is a cause far greater than that of any nation at war, should not we be willing to do whatever it takes to please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier? JDM