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“God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
I personalize this by receiving the good news that, God has not given me a spirit of fear (another scripture points out that perfect love casts out all fear). But, God HAS given me His spirit of power, His spirit of Love and the spirit of a sound mind.
Fear has reigned in my heart for a good deal of my life, even when I thought I’d tackled it. But, yesterday it jumped out at me, that the word for fear in this verse is also translated timidity.
God has not given us the spirit of timidity.
Timid – lacking in self-assurance, courage, or bravery; easily alarmed; timorous; shy. Characterized by or indicating fear. (dictionary.com)
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I immediately recognized that I’ve allowed a spirit of timidity to overcome me and my daily actions and conversations. It dawned on me that I’ve allowed the opinions of others to cloud or overshadow my own thoughts and convictions. Not so much to the changing of my thoughts and convictions, but, limiting and inhibiting my expression of these beliefs. Since these are beliefs that I hold dear, I now challenge myself; why? And how have I let this self-doubt or apprehension creep into my thinking?
Are my thoughts and beliefs any less valid than the thoughts and beliefs of those around me? No.
Have I fallen prey to the notions of political correctness that would intimidate me into silence for fear that I’ll offend someone? Perhaps.
Am I so concerned with what others might think of me, that I’m hiding the very core of who I am? Is my ego that shallow? I think so. What a crushing blow!
I choose to live my life as I believe God leads me.
I’ve chosen to surrender my life to the God of the universe, the God that created us all and everything we see, as well as plenty we don’t see.
I believe that all life is sacred, that God loves us all, with His love that knows no limits and cannot be removed from us. Whether we want His love, or feel we deserve His love or not – He loves us, without end and without conditions.
I believe that to live in peace with God, we must go through Jesus Christ, His Son, Whom He sent to redeem us from a fallen state.
I believe what God says in His Word, I receive His promises to me, knowing that most of them are conditional upon submission to Him. I choose that submission.
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Today, I choose to shake off that spirit of timidity; it’s not from God.
Today, I choose to take up that spirit of power, God’s spirit of Love and the spirit of a sound, confident mind and wear them boldly.
Might I fumble? You bet.
Might I fall flat on my face, and even get angry with myself for doubting my relationship with God or for doubting the power of the spirit of Love that wants only the best for me? Of course.
Continuously, life is choice after choice. Most of the daily choices we make, we make subconsciously, not even recognizing that a choice has been made. Whether we give in to old patterns, or whether we step out into new boldness; whether we see why we do the things we do or not, choices are being made.
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Today, I choose boldness.
Today, I choose to trust God with all my heart.
Today, I choose God’s generous, rewarding will over my own selfish, limiting will.
Check back with me tomorrow. The spirit of fear is sneaky, I’ll likely need your prayers.