STOP LIVING IN FEAR
Are you a fearful person? Like, you get nervous about everything... Your job, your education, germs, political authorities, finances, love, friendships, other people, strangers, being late, not being prepared, your 401K, being fearful of fear, etc...
Some people are naturally more fearful. Maybe you wouldn't use that word to define it. More cautious. Sound better? But the truth is that whether you are more prone to be fearful or less, we all are afraid of different situations and outcomes. And they begin to do something to us mentally. For example, have you ever had a boss text you something like, "tomorrow, we need to meet." For some of you reading that is already sending 'chills.' Why? Because it is the fear of the unknown. We all face fears regularly.
But are we meant to live like that? Some argue its wisdom and cautiousness; we need to be aware of the possible issues to be prepared, right? Sure, but often if we are honest with ourselves, it is not just an awareness issue but an issue that permeates our days and minds leading us to a life filled with a focus on our fears.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. - 2 Timothy 1:7-8
What was Paul getting at when he wrote this to his young mentee Timothy? Was this a problem for up-and-coming pastors? Or is this a problem we all face on a daily occurrence?
WE NEED TO CARE ABOUT GOOD THINGS BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY, GOD THINGS.
Paul says not to live in a state of fear and timidity. Fear we all know rather well, but what about timidity? Well, that is just a better way of saying a lack of courage or confidence. So Paul is saying, don't live in fear and lack courage and confidence. For some, as you read that, your chest is puffing up, and your thinking, "darn right! We need to fight back! We need to take back ___" (fill in the blank). But that is precisely the problem... The thing you fill in is often the wrong thing. So please don't take this scripture and apply it to your personal and selfish opinions. Those opinions may be good, but they are not God.
The next part of Paul's instruction is to live with power, love, and self-discipline. Notice Paul did not say a spirit of overpowering, pride, and arrogance. We are not called to force our will and way but live according to God's things and our convictions. And the way you do that really matters.
WE NEED TO DO GODLY THINGS IN GOD-HONORING WAYS.