God is a great gift-giver! Check out all of the good stuff He has given us in this passage from 2 Timothy 1. Apparently, we already have access to the following spiritual gifts from the Lord:
- God’s Power
- God’s Love
- Godly Wisdom (Sound Judgment)
- Godly Choices (Personal Discipline)
It occurs to me that the world has its own false distortions of these gifts, and they are wildly (yet tragically) celebrated in our culture today. For instance, instead of
- Godly power, the world celebrates greed;
- Godly love, the world honors lust;
- Godly wisdom (sound judgment), the world promotes immaturity;
- Godly choices (personal discipline), the world encourages selfish irresponsibility.
Do you know what these secular attributes all have in common? They’re all about putting “me first,” even (especially?) in front of God. And do you know what the biblical attributes in the first list have in common? They’re all about seeking the Lord and considering the needs of others first.
Also, the front-part of this verse caught my eye: “For the Lord did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear.” Ahh. So if we are feeling these things, then the Lord cannot be the Source of such emotions.
Finally, for a little bit of context, I decided to look up these words in the dictionary. I hope that these definitions** prove to be helpful in some way – they have certainly aided in my understanding of this passage:
- Timid: “Lacking in courage or self-confidence; lacking boldness or determination.”
- Coward: “One who shows disgraceful fear or timidity.”
- Fear: “An unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger; anxious concern.”
Yikes! God’s list sure looks better, doesn’t it? Remember this vital truth, my friends:
“For He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4b)
** Note that these definitions are no substitution for translations from the original Greek. Alas, I am no biblical scholar, and can offer no expertise here.