Love from the inside out

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.  NIV

In the King James translation, this verse reads, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” KJV

The Greek word for “fear” used here means “timidity or fear.”

It is interesting to me that Timothy contrasts “fear” with “love.”

The word for “love” used here is the same as that used throughout 1 Corinthians 13.

When we are in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit, we are given the gift of love from the inside out … not from the outside in as we so often think of it.  As the recipients of divine love, we are uniquely enabled to give love to others here on earth.

When we have this gift of love inside us, we are empowered to be patient and kind.  We are called, in 1 Corinthians 13, to rejoice in the truth and to always trust, always hope, always preserve.

There are also things that these verses tell us love is not.  From that list, I think we can derive other things that we are called to be:

  • Love does not envy, does not boast and is not proud.  Therefore, I think we are called to be genuinely glad for others and to rejoice with them in their accomplishments.
  • Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.  Therefore, I think we are called to look for the good in others, to encourage their efforts and to acknowledge their progress toward the truth.
  • Love does not delight in evil.  Therefore, I think we are called to be a help to others when bad things befall them.

So, if we are busy being patient, kind, rejoicing in the truth, trusting, hoping, preserving, being glad for others and rejoicing in their accomplishments, looking for the good in others, encouraging others’ efforts, acknowledging others’ progress and helping others when bad things befall them, we will never be described as timid or fearful.

And, I submit we won’t feel timid or fearful or worried.

We will be turning ourselves outward … sharing the love that is inside of us with God’s people around us.  We will be doing the work that we are called to do here.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Fear, II Timothy, New Testament

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