"...fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith." 1 Tim 1:18-19
There are those who wear Christianity as a banner, announcing to the world that they are set apart believers in Christ Jesus. Others, carry it quietly within themselves, piously humble, understanding the privilege and allowing it to direct their course. Still others hold it out in front of them as a shield, using it to deflect all accusations. Finally, some accept it as a calling for their own lives and use it as a motivator to call others to a relationship with Him who is the author and the finisher of our faith.
Beloved, there will always be a diversity of views about Christianity and how it is expressed. Rather than set ourselves up as judges of one another's faith, we must focus on our own motivations and actions. Paul encouraged Timothy to not neglect the gift that had been given him by God, but to use it to correct error, encourage others and to remain steadfast. His words reveal that this is no walk in the park. There will be challenges to our faith...if we are living it properly. We need only look around at the moral slide our society is undergoing to see the truth in this. When these challenges come, we are to hold on tight to Him who called us.
Sadly, there are those whose faith has little depth. You have seen those who have made their confession, been baptized and then never seen again. One of the great tragedies of spiritual life is witnessing those who knew enough to come but lacked the fortitude to stay. For this reason, we must do all we can not just to remain wrapped in His will ourselves, but to encourage others. It is through this that Christianity finds its highest expression.
Rejoicing in the Lord,