Be timid no more!

Be timid no more!

And live up to your church covenant

by Andrew J. Camenga

 

I have been timid.

Not always. But, there have been times when I have been timid to a fault—maybe even timid unto sin.

What am I confessing? I am confessing that there have been times when I have allowed something inside me to stop me from taking correct action.

Has that ever been true for you?

We live in a culture that proclaims, “To each his own” and, “That’s none of your business.” To the extent we believe that proclamation, we don’t talk about certain things.

We hear among our cultural proverbs, “It’s better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Unless we are careful, this adage focuses our attention more on what others think than on what is true. Its counsels a preference for inaction.

For Seventh Day Baptists, our internal culture struggles with a temptation to twist the phrases “liberty of thought” and “unhindered discussion” to the breaking point, declaring them to mean that “I can believe whatever I want.” When left unchecked, this conclusion undermines our ability to proclaim: “This is the Word of the Lord.”

Those are just a few examples. Are there other things inside you which prevent your taking correct action?

Part of the good news of the Gospel is that we need not be stuck in timidity. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7). God’s power is at work in us and it can overcome anything that stands in the way of doing what is right.

As God replaces timidity with power, love, and discipline, He calls us to action: “Consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…” (Heb. 10:24, ESV).

The call is explicit. It is part of how He causes His church to grow. This call is not optional. It is not only for the trained. Thinking about how we cause others to act is part of the Christian walk.

God calls you. You are part of His plan for building His people. You are supposed to know that. You are supposed to think about that. You are supposed to watch your brothers and sisters in Christ. You are supposed to learn what makes them tick. You ought to use that knowledge to push, poke, prod, and encourage others to God’s love and to those actions that God has said are good.

So leave timidity behind. Be certain that God has called you to influence the people around you.

 

To get started, your local church covenant talks about things you can do that will provoke others (and, yes, yourself) to love and good deeds. Here is a covenant I copied a long time ago when visiting a church; the source is unknown:

My Church Covenant

–In the presence of Almighty God and one another, I gather here in the fellowship of this church to acknowledge my belief in Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. Having been baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I come now to rededicate myself to Christ’s service as I unite with one another in this covenant.

–I will endeavor to make prayer a part of my daily living, seeking forgiveness for my sins and renewal of my Spiritual life, so that I may be able to live together in brotherly love and help one another to think, speak, and act as concerned Christians.

–I will be regular in my church attendance, observe its ordinances, and seek opportunities for worship, training, and service in order that I may understand more fully the teachings of the Bible and their application to daily living.

–I pledge myself to show my gratitude for God’s many blessings by sharing cheerfully and regularly of my time, talents, and treasures to support the church and its ministry in all areas of life.

–Believing my body is a temple of the Living God, I will endeavor to avoid experiences and habits which defile the body and hinder my witness.

–Believing that my call to membership in the church is a call to witness in the world, I will seek to live to the glory of Christ Who has called me into His service.

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