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 NKJV)
I spent time in 2 Timothy this morning. I love the letters Paul has written to Timothy, his beloved protege/apprentice and son in the faith. As I read them, especially the second, I see in Paul's words the pride and love for this young man and friend. Paul was in prison, most likely waiting to be executed, when he wrote this letter. It seems he was lonely as well (2 Ti 4:11) and wanted to both see and exhort Timothy in his ministry one last time.
As I ponder what Paul's mood must have been at the time of its writing, I also wonder what Timothy's reaction was when he received the letter from his dear mentor. Was he spurred on to action within his ministry? Was he strengthened by the reminder that he was gifted by God and had God's power, Spirit, and the benefit of a sound mind? Was he saddened by Paul's need to see him one last time? I suppose the answer could be "yes" to all. To me, that letter would have meant the world. Oh, the power of encouragement!
I love to encourage the people in my life to strive for and achieve their personal best, whatever that is. That is why I started my coaching business. It makes my day to see that I, or most likely God through me, was able to encourage someone to press on through trying circumstances and help them realize that the trial will not last forever. I love to see other people succeed and it encourages and motivates me as well in my own journey. Maybe that is why I love this letter from Paul so much.
When was the last time you offered to someone a listening ear, word of encouragement, or perhaps just a note or phone call to let them know that you cared and were pulling for them? Won't you do that today or this week? I guarantee that it will be a richly rewarding experience - for you and for them.
For further thought:
1) What is the gift of God in you? We all have been given something. Are you using your gifting?
2) If you know your calling, what is stopping you from fulfilling it to its maximum potential?
3) Who can you enlist to help you on your journey to fulfill your calling & keep you focused on your strengths so you can avoid the "spirit of fear"?