There’s no secret or disclaimer at all about this: I have loved this week’s verse. I’ve loved it since a worship event several years ago now, where the worship leader had us declare it over ourselves. At the time, she emphasised that we did not have to be timid, but this week, God has spoken different things to me about this verse.
The verse in question is 2 Timothy 1:7: For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
That’s an incredible promise. We have God’s Holy Spirit. One of the fruits of that Holy Spirit is self-control, or self-discipline. But look at the qualities that go with that fruit! Love and Power.
I’d always thought of self-control as something we have control over. Something we have to do. But through this verse, I learn that it comes from God. Not only that, but it comes with love and power. That’s a pretty incredible quality.
I think as Christians – and especially as Christian women – we often come across as timid. Modesty and gentleness combine sometimes to produce weakness and timidity. But here – and in our studies on gentleness – we realise that there is both strength and power. To find power in self-discipline doesn’t seem like a paradox any longer. We see that it’s the self-discipline of the Olympic athlete which results in the strength and power of their body.
So yes, there is power in self-discipline. There’s the power of the Holy Spirit, giving us strength to have self-control when we couldn’t on our own. There’s the power of the Holy Spirit giving us a spirit of discipline, motivating us and keeping us focused. And, of course, there’s the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives. Transforming lives often takes both self-control and persistence. There’s definitely strength in that.
But in this verse, for me, the word ‘love’ is essential. God is love. We know this. We started these studies with studying ‘love,’ and it’s been a theme as we’ve focused on each fruit of the Spirit individually. The inclusion of the word ‘love’ in this verse seems so counter-cultural; the power and self-discipline are motivated by love. That is completely against the way the world sees power and self-discipline.
So this is the verse I’m speaking over myself. “For the spirit God gave me does not make me timid, but gives me power and love and self-discipline.” I have the Holy Spirit. So I have power. I have love. I have self-discipline.
Next week, Rachel will be hosting the final Mummy Meditations on The Fruit of the Spirit and we will be looking at 1 Corinthians 9:25: Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.