The top of a news article I recently came across featured two photos at the top. Both photos showed world leaders, one from Russia, one from the United States. One held a tiger, the other held a small, fluffy, white dog. I’m sure you can probably guess which of one of these men was holding the tiger, and which one had the small dog. The Russian is holding the tiger, the American has the dog. It’s a big contrast, one that is clearly deliberate. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the author goes on, in no gentle terms, to describe America’s men as crybabies. Though this author may have been a bit dramatic in his review, there nonetheless remains no question that today’s America has bred a type of man that is quite different from those who fought the World Wars that began just over a century ago.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because we find a comparable scenario in the Bible. In 2 Timothy, we see Paul writing to Timothy, the new pastor of Ephesus. We also find, in Paul’s greeting of Timothy, that Timothy has become timid in his ministry. Paul says he remembers Timothy’s tears and implies that Timothy has become fearful and ashamed of the Gospel. In other words: this Timothy that Paul is speaking of shares much in common with America’s men today, he’s a crybaby. What is Paul’s response? Does he reach for the tissues? Does he let Timothy know that he has sent his childhood teddy bear for Timothy to clutch tight while he sucks his thumb and hides from the mean world? No, in no gentle terms, Paul tells Timothy to stop being a crybaby, sissy, simpleton, sell-out, and instead become a conqueror for Christ.
There’s lots of new questions (and answers) to listen to from the past two weeks! We’ve talked about what someone might mean when they say, “I’m confused,” the issue of God and Evil, what crude/sinful joking is (and what it is not), and most recently, the correct view of God in light of national tragedy. If any of that caught your interest, listen here: “I’m Confused,” Theodicy, and Crude/Sinful Joking, or God and National Tragedy.