“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” (2 Timothy 2:1-4, ESV)
Paul writes these words to Timothy from a Roman prison cell, knowing that he is about to be put to death for the cause of Christ. Instead of warning Timothy away from the path that he has taken, Paul encourages him to continue to walk it. He tells his child in the faith to be strengthened and willing to take what he has heard and teach others who can pass it on as well. Paul knows this will bring hardship to Timothy, and could very well bring death, but he has orders to follow as a servant of Christ the same as a soldier in any army.
As Christians today, we have our orders. There are things for which we must stand and things against which we must speak. Sometimes it will make us unpopular, sometimes it may cost us far more than ugly looks and unkind words. Nevertheless, we have a job to do. A responsibility that we have accepted and undertaken. Let us be strengthened and willing to keep our hands to the task.