Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but (He has given us a spirit) of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline (abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control.)”
2 Timothy 1:7 (Amplified Bible)
Our thought for today: “Be kind but be bold”
The Amplified Bible is a very helpful translation because the translators use all the English words necessary to capture the full meaning of the original Biblical language. Doing so sometimes results in long and awkward sentences, and it can make for difficult reading, but it does capture the full original meaning for us. Such is the case with 2 Timothy 1:7.
Timothy was a young pastor and a protégé of the Apostle Paul. He had been assigned to lead the rambunctious and unruly church in the city of Ephesus. Not only were the non-Christians in that city resistant and even opposed to the Gospel, but the Christians in the church were a pretty tough crowd too. So Timothy had his work cut-out for him as he attempted to speak truth to a sin-filled culture. He got a lot of blowback.
So in 2 Timothy 1:7 Paul reminded him that thanks to Jesus we do not need to be timid or fearful as we face such challenges. The Holy Spirit gives us a spirit of power, love, sound judgment, discipline, self-control, a well-balanced mind, and a sense of calm confidence. It’s in that frame of mind that we should approach our encounters with those who might disagree with us, or who might be unreceptive and even hostile to our message.
In previous devotional messages in this series we’ve discussed ways in which this calm sense of confidence and courage is developed and nurtured. It comes from doing your homework so that you are sure of what you believe and why you believe it. It also comes from taking the time to understand the other person’s position so you are then prepared to speak about it in an intelligent and rational manner. And most importantly, it comes from bathing the entire situation in prayer before you begin speaking.
When it comes to speaking a message of Biblical truth to people who disagree and who might not want to hear what you have to say, your situation might be challenging, but it probably won’t be as challenging as the situation Timothy faced. And if the promise of 2 Timothy 1:7 was helpful for him, it will certainly be helpful for you and me too.
You can be kind but bold. God will help you. Fearless and confident, calm and self-controlled, you can make your case and you can make it well.