ARE YOU IN YOUR RIGHT MIND?
When we’re facing difficult and uncertain situations, our natural response may be fear and trepidation. Perhaps that’s how Timothy, the Apostle Paul’s protege in the faith, felt as he was facing a new and challenging assignment. Paul gave Timothy a helpful perspective that can also help us maintain the proper frame of mind,
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline – 2 Timothy 1:7
The word “timidity” is not the usual word for fear, but this word carries a negative connotation, depicting craven cowardice. The word that is commonly used for fear in the New Testament is the word from which we derive our English word, phobia. Fear may be characterized in either a positive or negative sense. For example, we are to have a healthy fear of heights, but we must not be so timid that we become immobilized. Paul encouraged Timothy that as a follower of Christ, that his demeanor is not one of timidity, but one of confident trust in God. Paul revealed three traits that should characterize Timothy’s life and also our lives.
The first trait is power. Our English word dynmo is derived from this word, a dynamo represents a reliable source of energy. This word denotes the ability to respond to difficulties with the requisite capability to meet those challenges. Paul earnestly prayed that God’s people would know this type of power in their lives,
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might. – Ephesians 1:18-19
Paul was praying for resurrection power, the type of power that raised Christ from the dead. He also reminded Timothy to have a spirit of love because He knew that love could overcome fear.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:18-19
Are you experiencing the peace that comes from God’s perfect love? Finally, Paul reminded Timothy that his life should be characterized by a spirit of discipline. The word “discipline” literally means a saved or a sound mind. This is a mind that is not immobilized by fear, but rather this word describes an individual who is marked by a sense of prudence, moderation, sagacity, and sound judgment.
How would you characterize your spirit?
Don’t let fear trap you in its bondage. God’s will is that you may experience His power, love, and discipline in your life.
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