Several years ago I read Jen Hatmaker's book, 7, when some of my family did an experiment using principles from the book. Jen is very thought provoking and funny. A night out that I thought might just be a night of laughter was filled with really rich sharing and encouragement from her:
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
It's funny how we can get caught up in words. When Jen first started talking about this scripture, I was thinking in my head "He has not given us the spirit of timidity." I guess that's the version I grew up with! But she never used the word timidity. She used the word FEAR as in other versions.
Sometimes I get hung up on vocabulary. Can't get past it. My brain starts thinking about what that one word really means, etc., and then I miss the whole point of the passage. I think I was hung up on TIMIDITY. Do you ever do that?
But Jen really pounded down the point of not letting FEAR cripple us. We should not live in fear. Whatever our ailment, whatever is wrong in our relationships, our job, our finances, our country, our life, we don't have to live in fear! She shared some things that happened in her family in a short time span - teenager troubles, her own health problem, her brother and mother with issues and she admitted she was angry. Here she was - she works for God! Everything precious to her that she had protected seemed to be getting attacked. She was not exempt from problems. She was fearful. Then she remembered, God is good. She confided in her friends. She was thankful. I love it that she also shared this - remembering. How did she remember? She was filling her mind with good things, scripture, praise to God in the good times. (Col. 3:2) She did not give in to FEAR but tried to rely on God's power, love, and discipline. She is now able to share this story to others and remind us not to FEAR.
We do not have to live in fear! WE LIVE.
Thankful to share this evening with my daughter and my new daughter! Thankful my alma mater provides encouragement in this way.