The Right Balance = Power, Love and Self-Control - 2 Timothy 1:7

In 2 Timothy 1:7, we find the three attributes of the Spirit is described together. This is how we should always do in balance. Love gives the motivation, Power gives the ability and Self-control enables to do the right thing in the right time and circumstances and in the right amount. Either of them alone leads to problems.
(2Ti 1:7) for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power, love, and self-control.  

The Context:

The interpretation of any verse in the Bible should be done in context. Paul was encouraging Timothy not to hide his gift but to boldly exercise it. He reminded Timothy that the Spirit gave us three attributes of power, love, and self-control. Subsequent verses showed us what Timothy was worry or fearful about. He was ashamed of Paul's imprisonment, afraid of the possible persecutions, and unsure of the power of salvation.  We can see that one aspect of Power is to overcome the fear that Timothy had.  Paul gave his own testimony and conviction that it was all God's grace and power to enable him to accomplish the tasks God has given him. Our trust is in God and not in our own ability. He also gave the examples of his co-workers like Onesiphorus. Despite the abandonment of Phygelus and Hermogenes, they continued in their task. All these demonstrated the love, power, and self-control of the Spirit are being exercised by Paul and his co-workers.

The Fruit of the Spirit

The attributes of the Spirit is also described in Gal 5:22-23 as the fruit of the Spirit. There are nine attributes described which can be grouped and matched with the three described here.

  LOVE:     love,     kindness,    goodness,    faithfulness,    gentleness
  POWER:     joy,     peace,     forbearance
  SELF CONTROL     self-control.

We can see that love is the motivation, power is the ability, self-control is the management of such to stay the course, or wait for the right time, circumstances and exercising the right amount of love and power.

Good things did irrespective of the time, situation and people will bring forth bad results. We need self-control to manage our good intentions of love and the exercise of our abilities.

Lim Liat (c) 23 May 2018

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