|My devotion that I read this morning included II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT) And for the first time (for reasons unknown), I noticed the last word. . . . self-discipline. Now, I suppose I’ve read that before but it always seemed that the focus of this verse was that God gives us power. I can hear an old-time pastor pounding his fist onto the pulpit as he bellows the verse, hitting the pulpit as he says the word, “power”. This verse is supposed to be empowering, strengthening, rich with the blessings God has given us. Then why or why did the author, Paul, put in that other word? God gives us power to overcome fear and timidity. . . yes. God gives us love to overcome fear and timidity. . . yes. I can handle and understand that! God gives us self-control so we can overcome fear and timidity????????? My head knows this to be true but my heart always said that words that begin with self- are more about the self and not God. I know, I know- God created my self. The word just didin’t seem to fit with the verse, or so I had told myself all these years.
So, today, I decided to investigate this word a little bit more. (NOTE- if this sort of stuff doesn’t interest you, skip to the next paragraph) As you probably know, the Bible was translated into English from Greek and Hebrew. So, I checked out the original word and discovered that it was “enkrateia” (don’t even ask me how to say that). On the website www.philosophersnotes.com they defined this as: “The root, krat, means power or control and the virtue of “enkrateia” is found when we exercise mastery over ourselves. This is not the Biblical definition, so I also looked up different translations of the verse to see if another word might have been used by other translators. Sure enough!
New Scofield: sound mind
Why did it never occur to me that God gave me self-control, a sense of calm, a well-balanced mind, discipline, a sound mind, and the ability to be sensible?????????? Why have I told myself that those things are something I have to beat myself up about in the hopes that I can gain them as attributes?? I watched a little of Oprah yesterday and the author of a book called, “Women, Food, and God” was saying that women (I bet some men too) often beat themselves up about how they look, who they are, etc in the hopes that if they make themselves feel bad enough that they will get it all together and then feel wonderful about themselves. Does this make any sense at all??? Oprah’s show was an “aha” moment and this morning’s devotion was even more of an “Aha!”- more like I walked into a door or something kind of moment. We, as children created by God and in His image, already possess the attributes of self-control, a sense of calm, a well-balanced mind, discipline, a sound mind, and the ability to be sensible!! Did you hear me – WE ALREADY POSSESS THESE THINGS!!! GOD GAVE THEM TO US!!!!
Today, I ask the good Lord to help me and you. I ask that He will help us to stop, breath, and allow the gifts we already possess to envelope us. I pray that He will help us stop believing that the word “self” means controlled by us and understand that the word “self” really means under the power and love of God.
Breathe in. . . . .. Breathe out. . .. . . you already possess what you think you need to find! Accept it! Work with it! Live in today!!
God is good- all the time. . . .