Christian Chefs International Living in Fear vs. Power, Love, and a Sound Mind
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began."
2 Timothy 1:7-9 (NKJV)
So often in this industry cooks and chefs start to fear going to work. Not fear in the sense that we're scared of getting physically hurt (although that could happen, too), but rather fearing what happens on a day-to-day basis. For example, many Christian cooks and chefs working in secular (and some even in Christian) kitchens despise going to work because of all the cursing, violence, sexual connotations, and poor work environment.
If you are in that situation, I completely understand how hard it is, as I've been through it all. So what attitude should we have in these situations? Paul continues, telling us how we aren't called to fear and run away from those situations, but rather we're called to live amidst them. That's right -- many times God actually does call us to live around that anti-Christian lifestyle, BUT not in it.
So why would God possibly want one of His children to live in such a terrible environment? God has called us into His kingdom with a holy calling to share in the sufferings of the gospel. Because of sin, we ALL deserve eternal death in hell, but through God's grace, He has called us both into His kingdom and has chosen us as a vessel through which He can spread the gospel. God has ordained for us to live in tough situations both to share His gospel to others and to grow you as a minister of Himself.
Every single Christian is called into ministry. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to work at a church to be in ministry, but wherever God has placed you, God has called you to be a minister there, being one more part of that holy calling of your life. Do not fear nor be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, but rather submit to God and the spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind He freely provides.
One final note - the fear Paul is speaking of here is completely different than the "fear of God" we're called to have. The fear above in 2 Timothy is being afraid and confused, and God is not the author of confusion. Rather, when we fear God (see 1 Peter 2:17), we're called to do so in the sense of being in awe of and giving reverence to God.
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