We’re free to live free and without fear
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
Making our way down a list of rules appeals to our pride; it nurtures the notion we can earn God’s favor through our own efforts.
The thing about following lists is they keep a bit of fear in the room even as God is chasing this anti-faith out the door with his perfect love.
By tightly embracing God’s grace, we’re free to live free and without fear. The spirit God places within us is one of God-courage and uncommon boldness. It is not a spirit of timidity.
Timidity is based on the false belief that terrible things will happen if we make a mistake. It is a fear that God is not big enough to conquer our failures, whether they be sinfully deliberate or simply accidental.
It is a sin rooted in a passive legalism that proclaims we’ve got to do the right things in the right way at the right time, perfectly every time, or we will be in trouble with God; and that he, like some overbearing father, will keep us from going to the ball because we smudged soot on our Cinder-dress.
That is a lie with the smell of hell all over it because Jesus paid for every one of our mistakes and now there is no fear in love. God’s perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Those who remain fearful are not made perfect in love; they still fear the punishment (1 John 4:18).
Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals. This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. Used by permission.