“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” II Timothy 2:3
Most of us are probably familiar with the hymn, “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” Well, it was written in the mid-1860’s by Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould. He was born in 1834. When he was a child, his father was in a bad carriage accident that left him crippled for the rest of his life. Since his father was unable to work, he traveled and took Sabine with him.
Sabine did not receive much formal education due to the constant traveling as a child, but he was a very brilliant young lad. Even though he was self-taught, he had a very sharp and active mind which led him to write many books, articles, poems, hymns, and tracts.
This hymn was planted in the mind of Sabine one Sunday after seeing a baptismal group “march” in their flowing white robes to the baptismal area. It reminded him of soldiers marching off to war. So, later when he was needing to write a marching style hymn for Sunday School, the words flowed freely from his remembrance of this scene.
I know that we talked about the armor of a soldier in the devotional on day 4 and this devotional on the characteristics (character traits) of a soldier probably should have preceded or followed that one, but we will focus on it today instead.
So, what are the character traits that our life as a Christian soldier should portray? First, let us look at the definition of a soldier. A soldier is one who is a member of an army; one who stands up for a certain cause and fights, if needed. Wow! That should be you and I as Christians, should it not?
1) One who not only FIGHTS, but represents (stands up) for a certain cause
2) One who has great INTEGRITY (one who is honest/tells the truth, is not under-handed)
3) One who is DEPENDABLE (one you can trust to always do what they say they will do)
4) One who looks out for the best of OTHERS
5) One who makes WISE decisions
6) One who shows INITIATIVE (one who does not wait to be told what to do, but sees what needs to be done and does it)
7) One who has TENACITY (one who holds firm to what is right; one who does not back down by pressure from others)
8) One who is FAITHFUL (one who is always there; they are never missing)
9) One who FOLLOWS (God)
10) One who stays FOCUSED (they know what needs to get done and they do it before they allow themselves time off, time to do other things or time to relax)
So, how is your life looking right now? How many of these character traits could you put a check by, if asked?
It is not too late to start building character in your life as a soldier of Jesus Christ! May you make that commitment today!