02 Dec Authentic Faith
Read 2 Timothy 1:3-7
Thought for the Day: Today, I can stop comparing myself to others.
Several years ago, my wife and I visited New Orleans for the first time with one objective: to find and eat the best authentic po-boy sandwich. Of course, as bona fide tourists, this was far easier said than done and, upon arriving in the city, we found ourselves eating mediocre muffalettas in a ‘tourist trap’. Rather than giving up, we downloaded Yelp and had better success. But, it was not until much later that week when we finally found what we had been looking for. The fried shrimp po-boys on K Paul’s lunch menu came on paper plates but were everything we had hoped for…and more. They were the real deal. They were authentic New Orleans.
What does this have to do with faith? In his second letter to his protege Timothy, the Apostle Paul begins by commending the young man for his “sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” Having traveled the world to plant churches and spread the Gospel, the Apostle Paul had the opportunity to meet all kinds of people who lived all kinds of lives. Coming across young Timothy, Paul complimented him not for being the wisest, strongest, or bravest. Rather, Paul realized that Timothy (as well as Lois and Eunice) was the real deal because he was sincere. Timothy’s faith wasn’t a show meant to impress anyone. Rather, it was authentic.
Too often Christians can worry that they don’t ‘measure up’ to others in culture. They can look around and feel inadequate for a variety of reasons. Fear can cause us to worry we aren’t smart enough, strong enough, or as good-looking as we’d like to be. However, we don’t need to ‘measure up’ in order to be found faithful by God. Rather, let’s learn the lesson of Timothy, Lois, and Eunice. Let’s embrace an authentic faith by being sincere, following Jesus, and leaving the rest up to God.
Pastor David (and Stan)