It could be worse

2 Timothy 3:10-15

I remember how strange a thought it seemed.

For the life of me, I can’t recall what we were talking about. In whatever conversation it was, someone told me, “There are worse things that can happen to you than dying.” After all these years, I’m more comfortable with that idea.

Being persecuted doesn’t sound like much fun. According to the apostle Paul, though, “all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).


I haven’t faced persecution. Has my time not come yet? Or do I really want to live a godly life?

I’ll consider the amount of persecution Paul faced inclined him to believe we all have to face it too.

But, as Paul sees it, there are worse things that can happen to you than being persecuted. Paul’s logic says if you want to live godly, you’re going to suffer. But “wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse…”(2 Timothy 3:13).

What’s worse than persecution? Both deceiving others and being deceived yourself.

The charge to the young pastor in 2 Timothy is to reflect on what he’s seen in Paul’s life. There have been trials God has brought him through. He has suffered a great deal. And look at what has carried him through so much. Despite such deliberate attempts to steal his joy and silence his ministry, he has kept his faith. His has still taught Jesus as Lord, glorified God and experienced observable fruit of the Spirit.

Timothy should think about what he has seen in Paul’s life and testimony. Also, just as important, is not to forget the sacred writings.

God help me to never forget the feeling that came over me when I first realized something about the Bible. Early in my efforts to learn scripture, I was reading a psalm. I recognized one of the lines Jesus used from the cross. That’s when it hit me. I’m reading the same words Jesus read himself. He took time to read, memorize and reflect on the same writings I was looking at that day. That realization taught me to cherish the words of the Bible.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to sign up for persecution. But it does seem like letting go of how my life has been shaped by the beauty of God’s word and the Christian witness I have seen in so many people over the years would be worse.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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