June 16, 2021 – Wednesday
2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 CJB
7 For God gave us a Spirit who produces not timidity, but power, love and self-discipline.
The two versions above were chosen as they clearly point to the Holy Spirit (via the uppercase “S”). Others are correct when they read God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice, as such a spirit would not be from God. Thus, we can know any time we are feeling/being timid and/or acting timidly or cowardly, the Holy Spirit is not making us so.
We know this as the Spirit God gives us something quite different: power, love and self-discipline. While this verse is tied to verse six when Paul and Timothy were admitted into the ministry, it is not limited to ministers of the Lord at ordination. Indeed, Ellicott’s Commentary tells us, It is a grave reminder to Christians of every age and degree that all cowardice, all dread of danger, all shrinking from doing one’s duty for fear of man’s displeasure, proceeds not from the Spirit of God. If not from God, then from our own sinful nature or Satan’s prodding. Guzik makes this clear as well when he writes, We all face situations where we feel timid and afraid. For some, speaking in front of others makes them fear; others are afraid of confrontation, others of being made to look foolish, others are afraid of rejection. We all deal with fear. The first step in dealing with such fears is to understand that they are not from God. It is a significant step to say, “This isn’t God making me feel like this; God hasn’t given me this.” Perhaps it is from personality, perhaps a weakness of the flesh, perhaps a demonic attack – but it isn’t from God. (emphasis – underlining – added) MacLaren’s Expositions makes an even stronger point, The first thing, then, that he [Paul] would have us understand is that Christ makes fearless men.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible addresses the what the Holy Spirit does give us. Frist of all power – Power to encounter foes and dangers; power to bear up under trials; power to triumph in persecutions. To which I would add, the power to stand firm on the word of God. And then love – Love to God and to the souls of men. Nothing will do more to inspire courage, to make a man fearless of danger, or ready to endure privation and persecution, than “love.” The love of country, and wife, and children, and home, makes the most timid bold when they are assailed; and the love of Christ and of a dying world nerves the soul to great enterprises, and sustains it in the deepest sorrows. Finally of self-discipline or of sound mind – The state referred to here is that in which the mind is well balanced, and under right influences; in which it sees things in their just proportions and relations; in which it is not feverish and excited, but when everything is in its proper place. To which Jamieson-Faucett-Brown add – This is to give up worldly entanglements, which as thorns choke the word. Then they conclude, These three gifts are preferable to any miraculous powers whatever.
What a bold statement the gifts of the Holy Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline are preferable (or more desired) than any miraculous powers whatever!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please let the Holy Spirit imbue me with power, love and self-discipline. Let my life reflect these gifts and bring honor and glory to You and Your Son. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.