By Katie Pearson
“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” 2 Timothy 2:1-7
Spiritual authority comes from a radically different source than the world’s paths to power. God has designed you with gifts, abilities, and talents that he wants to use to grow others, but first, he wants your commitment to become more like him every day for the rest of your life. This is what qualifies you to lead. And it’s worth it! As Paul writes in 1 Timothy 4:8, “for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
The road to maturity requires rigorous training, a willingness to suffer, and a commitment to work in season and out. Godliness also requires reverence, an inherent respect that leads you to seek to serve him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Surely reverence will take you to the end of yourself and your ability, but that’s where you encounter the Lord. When your energy is spent getting to know God, you benefit from all the benefits of becoming more like Jesus. Just watch how others sit up and take notice!
If you haven’t spent time working out your own faith, it’s impossible to guide others in working out theirs. You won’t relate to their struggles or appreciate their celebrations. Immaturity doesn’t empower others—it separates, excludes, and even diminishes those it influences. Isn’t it encouraging to know that God wants to use your heartaches to help others on their journey? Your stories matter.
So, keep working out your faith by stretching and toning your wisdom, knowledge, and character. Then you can teach and model love over competition, prioritize God’s glory above your own, and recognize that God places you in relationships based on your spiritual authority, not your agenda. It’s not about being perfect, just purposeful!
Reflection: For servant leaders training in godliness, the finish line is the day we take our last breath. Who is God calling you to become as a leader? Keep following Jesus, and soon you will find yourself impacting others around you for the greatest cause in all the kingdom—Jesus Christ! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Could you use some hope right now? Join Peter’s first audience—“elect exiles” undergoing persecution—and experience the apostle’s powerful call to follow Jesus in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing your Living Hope is not a distant one, but a daily, glorious, life-giving reality! This unique six-week small group Bible study, A Living Hope: A Study of 1 Peter, helps you uncover the priceless promises written specifically to the struggling and the hurting, with pastoral gentleness and bold confidence for the future. This study of 1 Peter will help you become utterly convinced that Jesus is the only sure, true, incorruptible, and permanent hope for you.
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