"For the spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his spirit fills us with power, love, and self control." (2 Timothy 1:7 TEV)
Isn't a Christian supposed to be meek? Yes, but meekness is not weakness. There's a big difference. Meekness means "strength under control." Picture a wild stallion that has been broken and is now tamed. That stallion still has as much power as when he was wild, but now that power is bottled up for the master's use.
Only two people in the Bible were called meek: Jesus and Moses. Neither of them were weaklings or wimps. They were strong men of conviction. God doesn't expect you to just cave in every time somebody wants to manipulate you or control you. What would you do if someone asked you to do something immoral or illegal or unreasonable? You'd say no!
For a Christian, "no" is not a dirty word. It's OK to say "no." In fact, it's necessary from time to time. The Bible tells us to say "yes" when we mean yes, and "no" when we mean no. It doesn't tell us we need to feel guilty about doing so. It doesn't say we have to make excuses for our decisions.
You can't get through life, let alone ministry, without eventually being around someone who will try to intimidate, control, or manipulate you. How does God want us to deal with intimidating people?
2 Timothy 1:7 gives us the answer: "For the spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his spirit fills us with power, love, and self control" (TEV).
That's the way God wants you to deal with people — in power (confidence), in love (focusing on their needs), and in self-control. God's Spirit doesn't make us timid. It doesn't turn us into weaklings.
Yet, I know Christians who unconsciously think, "I have to be afraid of people in order to be spiritual. I just have to let people have their own way." If you'll look at the Bible, you'll see that's not the case.
You can’t please everyone. That's a fact. So stop trying! When those difficult people come along, hold your ground, pray for those who persecute you, and leave the rest to God.
Talk About It
Why is it hard for you to say “no” to other people? How has it affected you?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.