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But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5



Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a middle school girls basketball team. I always consider it an honor to be invited to speak into anyone's life, and I do not ever want to take that lightly. I have messed it up many times in the past, so these days I spend more time beforehand asking God: what do you want me to share in this space? Words are a big deal, and I want to use the right ones as best I can. This is partially the reason there are not as many blog posts here as I would like. When I try to post on a schedule, I end up writing out of obligation. I guarantee that when the content comes from me instead of God in me, you'll know it. It just isn't the same. And even though I scribble thoughts in the quiet of most mornings, I want the words you read here to be slightly more than scribbles. A little bit of proper grammar and vocabulary are beneficial. I am not a trained writer, theologian, or perfectionist. But hearing from God takes time. Putting words together takes time. Even typing them out takes time. Sigh. I wish I had more time. Alas, here I am rambling about time and the importance of words when I am supposed to be telling you about this great verse.


So I asked God: what can I share with these girls in 10 minutes or less? I immediately thought of this verse in 2 Timothy. I was first impressed by it years ago when I went on a medical missions trip to Haiti. Yet it has so many applications. This is what I shared with those middle school girls. See if it resonates with you in some way.

 

We all look to someone or something for instruction and guidance in life. I happen to get a lot of my guidance from the Bible, so I'm going share something with you today that I read. Even if you don't believe in the Bible, this is still pretty good advice. It is in a letter written by an older, more experienced guy to a younger, less experienced guy. When someone who is more knowledgable gives you instruction, it is wise to listen up. Kind of like a coach to a player.


But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5


I think this verse sounds like a coach sharing strategy to score and win the game. I imagine a coach saying, "Sarah, keep your eyes up, look for your teammate in the corner, make a strong pass, and don't forget to rebound when she shoots." Instead, it is Paul telling Timothy the strategy to succeed in their goal. And it applies to us in our lives also.


First, keep your head in all situations.

In basketball, it's important to keep your head. Look around for the best pass. Don't throw the ball away just because you feel the pressure of the defense. In life, it is also important to keep your head in every situation. Make a good decision with a clear mind, not a reckless decision based on emotions. Don't throw away a friendship or an opportunity or your character because you feel pressure from the wrong side.


Second, endure hardship.

Don't be afraid of hard things. Hard practices. Hard situations. If your coach never made you practice hard or condition your body early in the season, you would not be able to run up and down the court for an entire basketball game. In our lives and in our every day, we will encounter some really hard circumstances. It is part of living in this world. I hate it, but it's true. You can do it. You can endure, persevere, overcome. It will not be easy, but you will be better if you hang in there.


Third, do the work of an evangelist.

An evangelist is someone who tells people about something he or she really believes in. I have been told I am an Aldi evangelist because I think Aldi is the best grocery store and I tell everyone to shop there. If you are someone who believes in Jesus Christ and you really think he is the best part of your life, you need to tell people about him. If you have really great news, you want other people to know!


Finally, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

I think it sounds better this way: fully carry out all the duties of your ministry. Whatever task is assigned to you, do it to fully and completely and to the best of your ability. In basketball, if you have the opportunity for a fast break, run hard and don't stop until you finish the layup. If you are passing the ball, make it a strong pass in the right direction, not a lazy pass that can be stolen by the opposing player. At home, you may have the task of unloading the dishwasher or babysitting a younger cousin. Do it fully and completely and to the best of your ability. At school, you may be assigned math homework or office assistant. Do it fully and completely and to best of your ability. In life, you may be a nurse or a lawyer or a mother or a chemical engineer. These are all opportunities to serve and minister to other people. Whatever duties are assigned to you, do them fully and completely and to the best of your ability.


 

I hope you love this verse like I do. It is so practical to every part of our lives. And even to basketball, if you prefer that.


Keep your head. Think clearly about whatever season you are navigating right now. Make wise decisions. It may be hard. It will be hard. That does not mean you quit. Keep going, little by little. Share Jesus when you can. He's worth talking about. And fully carry out the ministry God has given you. You have a purpose in this life, friends. Live your life in a way that fulfills every little task God gives you.





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