“... for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.”
~2 Timothy 1:7 (NRSV).
Ever noticed how glibly silent the world reacts when we give it a cheaper version of our true selves? That is, we think by giving them what we think they want that they’ll be satisfied; no, God wants us, by evidence of their fickleness, to be our original unique selves first and foremost.
We can perhaps imagine that the Apostle Paul is exhorting Timothy to this: “Just be yourself, Timothy; your normal, more courageous, God-indwelt, self.”
Without Thought of Self-Protection
As conscious, thinking, feeling human beings we naturally have the propensity of giving way to those things that keep us safe. Sometimes this instinct, however, goes beyond the useful. The opportunity is to burst past this self-imposed limit of the protected human psyche — the flesh-felt and flesh-inspired unrealised potential, avoidance of embarrassment and shame.
Conversely, when we act without thought of cowardly self-protection — which is the secondary, self-protected thought — we become our original selves again that very instant.
This is not allowing time for timidity to beat us into a hasty retreat when we know the action we should take or the words we could say.
This is no excuse to say just the first thing that pops into our minds — without screening it in wisdom. It’s merely ensuring we don’t buckle from the self-discerned will of God.
There are No ‘Copies’ in the
God doesn’t create copies. We know by the originality of our DNA that we’re all distinctive individuals, made perfectly in the image of God.
We are all dyed-in-the-wool originals of the Lord Almighty. As we’re bodily original, so we’re mindfully original. No one thinks exactly like we, individually, do. Match this power-for-thought with biblical truth and we’re quickly approaching our potential.
When we agree to live this way, taking our courage, not buckling in cowardice, we become purveyors of God’s delight and we’re blessed by fashion of the Spirit’s inspiration.
In Timothy’s context, he’s reminded of the power resplendent in simplicity; in the purity of love; in the magnification of truth; by the harmony of light; in straightforwardness of bearing — to continue on the straight road of life.
When self-consciousness gives way to the pure flow of our true selves, others reap the benefit, and God is blessed because we’ve simply obeyed the Holy Spirit’s leading to be ourselves.
This may seem hard; it is never easier, however, with courage.
This is having the faith to trust what the Holy Spirit is saying; to abide to the truth withheld in the each situation; to actually do what we’re being asked — within ourselves — to do.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.