Aggressive Goodness
2 Timothy 2:3
You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

The Saviour expects true saintliness will always be an aggressive thing. Where it is such, its activities rouse enmity. We have different views from the Saviour on this subject of aggressive goodness. We think saintliness is at liberty to be an unobtrusive, self-saving thing: carefully restricting its service to the quiet influence of its example, content to develop its own life sweetly. But the Saviour calls for something more vigorous than passive piety. Prince of Peace as He was, He proclaims: "I came not to send peace on earth, but a sword" — to set a man at variance with those around him. He defines His object to be to "send fire on the earth," and tarries only until it is kindled. He assumes that evil must be assailed, that falsehood will be contradicted, and sin denounced. He intends a true peace to be reached by the disturbance of the false. He expects sanctity ever to have something of the soldierly quality, and that the life will be a fight of faith. He did not contemplate sanctity adopting a live-and-let-live policy in the presence of falsehood and evil Silence is the earth in which the talent of truth is buried. He expects us to be His witnesses; bids us say, "Repent!" not merely to men in general, but to sinners in particular; expects us to reprove all evil, as well as to point to Him who is the source and pattern of all good. Wherever love is thus aggressive, truth thus bold, mercy thus active — hatred of the intensest kind must rise. For who can bear to have his ways denounced as evil; his views as false; his destiny — perdition; his duty — repentance? Moreover, the Christian has to be the reformer in a world of vested interests. And there is no evil under heaven, from idolatry to drunkenness, from gambling to gaiety, from heresy to vice, but some have an interest in maintaining it. You will not achieve any usefulness of any sort without the cry, "This our craft is in danger!" rising to the lips of those profiting by others ignorance, or servitude, or evil. In these circumstances, however meek and peace-making the saint of God may be, if he is faithful to his Saviour, and to the interests of men, he will suffer from the bitter speech or the deed of hatred of those who resent his whole spirit and activity.

(R. Glover.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

WEB: You therefore must endure hardship, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

A War for Fireside
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