I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. (2 Tim. 1:5)
When Paul reminds Timothy of the faith of his grandmother and mother he’s encouraging him to stay strong. It appears Timothy was tempted to quit the ministry. Some questioned his youth. Others doubted his authority. Leading was hard and painful. Paul is using the faith of Lois and Eunice in order to inspire Timothy to remain resolute and steadfast.
I once used the faith of a grandfather to confront the behavior of a grandson. I was walking out of a service for those with AIDS and there was a rally outside the church. There was a young man with a loudspeaker who was screaming ugly and hurtful things about those with AIDS.
I knew the young man. I had recently done his grandfather’s funeral. His grandfather was a kind, fair, and gracious man.
I went up to him and said, “Hello, Charlie.” He said, “Hello, Father Nutter.” I then quietly asked, “Charlie, what would your Grandpa say if he were here?”
Have you ever watched someone visibly deflate? He wanted to ramp up, but couldn’t pull it off. After a few moments he turned to the crowd and said, “It’s time to go home.”
I evoked the memory of Charlie’s grandfather because I knew the grandfather would have been appalled and ashamed with what his grandson was doing. Charlie knew the same.
I encourage us to remember those who have served as a Lois or Eunice in our life and faith. Remember them when we are growing weak, like Timothy. Remember them when we’re acting in ways that would disappoint them, like Charlie.
As it turns out, Timothy stayed strong. Paul reminding him of the faith of his grandmother and mother proved helpful. I, again, encourage you to remember those in your life who have called out the best in you, so that you, too, will stay strong and faithful.
- Who have been those in your life who have kept you strong when you felt weak, overwhelmed, or discouraged?
- Who have been those who have helped to turn you around when you have been acting like less than your best self?
- Do you need a Lois or a Eunice to be leaning into your life right now? If so, what would they be saying to you? Are you willing to listen?