“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 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
Each of us has a gift – a message to carry to others about what God has done for us. But often it lies dormant because we don’t make the conscious effort to stir it up and put it to use. Fear causes us to bury it or hold it back.
Sometimes that fear is the result of guilt and shame, feeling we’re unworthy or disqualified.
Sometimes it’s due to doubt and low self-worth, a certainty that nobody really wants to hear anything we have to contribute.
Sometimes there’s just a feeling of inadequacy, that we don’t have the skills or talents to properly deliver our message.
And sometimes it is the fear of others – what will they think or say? Will they think less or differently of me? Will my boldness stir up anger or resentment, or blow the fragile lid off of latent bitterness and unforgiveness? Will people make assumptions about my motives?
But God does not intend for that gift to be stagnant and neutralized by fear, no matter what form it takes. As Paul encouraged Timothy, we are also urged to “stir up the gift of God which is in” us, because “God has not given us a spirit of fear.” Whatever the source of that fear – guilt, shame, doubt, feelings of inadequacy or inferiority, potential reactions of others – it is not from God.
So what does God give us?
Power to live larger than our flaws and failures. With the aid of His Holy Spirit, we have the power to blast through any barriers that will rise before us. The power to cling to the truth of our real identity in Him, throwing off the labels and the doubts, whatever their source.
Love, the only attribute against which nothing can stand. Hatred (including self-hatred), doubt (including self-doubt), gossip, lies, labels, accusations, unforgiveness, anger, bitterness…whatever tends to reinforce our chains – all these things eventually crumble in the face of love. Read 1 Corinthians 13 and 1 John 4:18. There is nothing in the universe stronger than love.
A sound mind that isn’t riddled with insecurities, hesitancy, or negative labels. One that knows what He intends for us and steps forward in that knowledge, regardless of what the world or those negative voices inside our heads may think or say. A mind that is renewed (Romans 12:1-2) and confident (Philippians 1:6).
This is how God intends us to live. Living out the message He has placed within.
Don’t allow your gift to lie dormant any longer. Don’t let the Enemy or anyone else convince you that you are not useful or valid. You are that and so much more – you are a vital part of God’s plan.