No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. (2 Tim. 2:4)

Alexander The Great is acclaimed as one of the greatest military strategists who ever lived. He conquered nearly the entire known world with his army. One night during a campaign, the general could not sleep, so he got up to take a walk around his encampment.

He passed many soldiers who were sleeping soundly, resting up for the battles to come. Then he came across a soldier who was sleeping on guard duty. Instead of being vigilant, he was dozing. The penalty for sleeping on duty, in some cases, was death.

The footsteps of the approaching general caused the soldier to rouse. When he realized who was standing before him, the soldier feared for his life.

The Great asked, “Do you know what the penalty is for sleeping while on duty?”

“Yes, sir,” the trembling soldier answered.

“What is your name?”

“Alexander, sir,” came the reply.

“What did you say?”

“My name is Alexander, sir.”

“Soldier,” the general said with intensity, “either change your name or change your conduct.”

Paul reminded Timothy that he must suffer “like a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (v. 3). A soldier’s life is not always comfortable. Soldiers may have to sleep in cold, damp tents or even in the mud. They may have to go without sleep, march long distances, and face constant danger. But a soldier “tries to please his commanding officer.”

Endeavor to please Christ. As his soldier, you bear his name—Christian.

Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife Carol. He has written his weekly column, Positive Perspective, for more than thirty years.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.