In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Tim. 3:12)

EACH SPRING FFA STUDENTS prepare for judging competitions. Young men and women enrolled in Future Farmers of America form teams and study particular areas of agriculture in preparation to compete against other schools. What skill are they developing? The skill of judging a herd of dairy cows, various soil samples, a grouping of plants, and more.

Students are asked to rank items observed from best to worst. Then, they are required to explain their answers by giving reasons for the order they assigned, whether correct or not. The second part of the event can be more challenging than the first task. To stand in front of judges who are evaluating you based on how well you make your case—well, that’s daunting for any of us, whether students or adults.

The stakes for Paul and Timothy were far greater than what our budding growers and food-science professionals face in competition. Paul wrote to Timothy to advise him as he began Christian leadership. Paul shared his struggles with Timothy, and he did not sugarcoat what was ahead for Timothy in his work with the church.

As Paul and Timothy conducted their lives, they made a case for Jesus every day. They faced hostile, rather than friendly, judges. They spoke to hateful audiences, rather than courteous listeners. What a challenge that must have been! Are we up to a task like that?

Make a case for Christ, and move someone else to do the same.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.