Bible Snacks
Published in

Bible Snacks

Power, Love, and a Sound Mind

Paul tells Timothy “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:6–7

Timothy was living in a time where there was open oppression and resistance to the message of the gospel. With Paul in prison people were getting bolder and speaking out against him — it was an embarrassing time with your spiritual leader locked up. In this environment of antagonism and persecution, it was easy to draw back and just lay low. It’s in this context that Paul tell Timothy these words “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”.

These three things (power, love, sound mind) are interesting because they are well balanced. It’s not all just power. It’s not all just love. And it’s not all just a sound mind…but all three of these things describe the spirit God has given us. It’s natural to draw back in fear but God tells us that’s not how his spirit works. Instead of Timothy drawing back in fear as oppressors increased, Paul tells him to stir up the gift of God!

Power = force, power, strength, might.

Love = agape = purposeful love. By choice and by doing.

Sound mind = discipline, self-control, soundness of mind.

It’s a force, a power and might that comes from God, not us. But it’s one that is always tempered by love. It’s not power by running over people, not about exerting control, not making it all about you. It is power that also runs the path of love. Imagine if power tempered by love were practiced in life today how great things would be!

But it’s more than just those two…underneath it all is a sound mind. One that doesn’t run the path of the odd or unstable. It’s not a demonstration of the spirit to stand on a street corner shouting at people walking by holding a card board sign and not showering for days. God’s spirit is solid, sound and disciplined…in control of the self and in control of the thoughts. It is a healthy, sound, healed mindset.

Can you imagine if the spirit were only two out of three of these things? Pick any two and see if the third doesn’t beg to be included. Why? Because all these things work together in a balance. How does the world picture a Christian or even Jesus himself? Well it mostly paints a picture of a wacko with long hair, walking around loving anything and anyone, never harming a blade of grass, uttering wise words in a very quiet, soft voice — not a picture of strength. Yet Christ chased out the money changers in the temple with a whip, and strongly rebuked the Pharisees…when that was called for.

But he didn’t walk around with a whip all the time and exerting control and beating everyone — he used this power to protect those that needed it. Love was always present, a deliberate choice to show love and seek the best outcome for a person. He rebuked the Pharisees when he was standing up for someone sick and outcast — as they were shunned and rejected by the majority. And none of this was done by a guy muttering in the corner to himself while staring at the ground. A sound, whole mind was always present — one that engaged with people where they were.

You see all these three things work together in unison to demonstrate how a true child of God should act…even in the face of oppression like Timothy faced. Power. Love. Sound mind. All three, not just one, but all working in a balance that demonstrates how God himself is and how he acts. After all, it is the very spirit of God.

Are you lacking in one of these things? Then ask for it, and ask for wisdom for that area you might not be strong with. Does your background cause dysfunction in your life today? Then ask God for a sound, whole mind for healing and to put those things out of your life. Do you cower and hold back, in fear or just avoid things? Then ask God to help you have his power, not as the world thinks of power, but as God does, and to exhibit more of this in your life and face really hard situations. Do you lack kindness, empathy and the ability to really reach out and love others? Ask for that as well…and ask for wisdom for how to live it. Whichever of these three you need more help with just ask God! And he will provide and strengthen you in that aspect of his spirit.

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Luke 11:13

You see, these three things work together and balance each other. God gives a spirit that is very powerful and doesn’t cower or withdraw, but doesn’t use that power to harm - but to love. It is also a spirit that will give strength and healing to areas that may be weak and dysfunctional. What a gift! Find which of those things you need the most help with and ask for it and seek it — and he will give it.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store