2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” This is actually one of several verses that I still have memorized in my arsenal against fear. The answer to anxiety of any kind was to rebuke it because “God has not given us a spirit of fear!” I have an entire blog post about how fear is foundational to the evangelical worldview (click to read), so this little musing isn’t about that. There’s so much more surrounding that verse that is much more interesting to me now. 😉 For example, verse 5, that says, “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.” We love to see the faith of women honored (by Paul, no less!).
This verse is sometimes weaponized against introverts and anyone who felt uncomfortable with street evangelism–as someone who was involved with Campus Crusade in college, we don’t all have the gift of evangelism, but so many people felt very pressured and guilted into “going sharing” because of this verse.
The Message version of verse 7 says, “God doesn’t want us to be shy with God’s gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.” What if, instead of using this verse to try and push everyone to do ministry in one specific way, we used this verse to encourage everyone to be bold with the gifts that were inherent to them? What if women who have the gift of teaching were encouraged to use that gift? Verses 13-14 say, “So keep at your work, this faith and love rooted in Christ... Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us.”
What precious gift has God put in your custody? Trust that you are meant to go forward boldly in the direction of your gifts.
New meditation this month:
My meditation for this month is called "Riding the Waves." Find the 11-minute, free version on Insight Timer. Don't forget to follow me there! Please rate and review my meditations to help other people find them. If you're a paid supporter of my work, the longer version (including one of my favorite concepts from Internal Family Systems therapy) and bonus materials will be available today on the members' page. May this meditation give more space to your emotions as you remember that you are safe and held, even in the midst of overwhelming feelings.
Inhale: This emotion feels threatening.
Exhale: I am safe, and I am held.
Lock screen affirmation:
If you're on mobile, you can hard click and save this to your photo album to set it as your lock screen. On desktop, right click and save!
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