Therefore [because of the faithfulness of Timothy's mother Eunice and grandmother Lois] 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 apprehension, but of power and of love and of clear understanding.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
Word study this time!
Stir up God's gift(s) that are inside us. Exactly like when we stir dying embers and the entire fire reignites, getting our talents and abilities out where people can notice and know them, where we can use them, literally stirs them up and helps them blossom and bloom. Like the wind and the fire of Pentecost, "stirred up" gifts spread far to benefit the world. I'll take stir further! Stirring cooking or baking ingredients together combines them to create yummy results no one ever could get from only a single ingredient. Using our gifts and talents together…
I love that the Greek words for grace and joy are very similar – probably from the same root. Charisma, the word for gift in this scripture literally comes from "charis" or grace. Doesn't using our gifts of grace result in joy all around for everyone?
The apostle Paul counsels his ministry sidekick Timothy to build on the testimony in words and action of his grandmother and his mother. You probably know scripture constantly tells us "do not fear." Although some translations of these verses read "God has not given us a spirit of fear;" rather than phobos that gives us the too familiar English phobia and phobic, the Greek here is closer to apprehension, uneasiness, or "timidity" several translations offer.
In Romans 8:16 Paul announces the Holy Spirit resonates with our human spirit to let us know we are God's offspring. Given the reality of God's own Spirit indwelling us, is it any surprise that our power is the dynamite word scripture often uses for God's own power?
One more! Our spirit of love is God's world-embracing unconditional agape! Do we believe it, can we rock it? Maybe so, with clarity, understanding and self-possession.