Timidity is infectious. Many a church would be stronger if it were weeded out–just as Gideon’s army was. Its weakness lies in its great numbers, not because numbers necessarily weaken–but because there are so many half-hearted people on the church roll. They have lost their interest, if they ever had any, and are indifferent, without thorough consecration. They add no strength–but only hinder the other members and dampen their zeal. —J.R. Miller
It is true, to a great extent, that great numbers weakens the church, because weak people are in the numbers. More can and ought to be said about helping the timid and fearful in those numbers to come to faith, but when sought outside of the will of God, the desire to have greater numbers weakens the church and undermines its mission and health.
God desires that all come to faith. He wants more people in his Kingdom. We exist in large part in order to convert others. We must see every single person as an object of God’s love. His desire to save must be ours. But we must not want to fill a building or grow a church by means that will compromise the truth and cause others to enter unconverted, weak, timid, and unsure of salvation and of the habitation of God’s Spirit.
Somebody said that the phrase: “Do not fear,” appears in the Bible 365 times. Once for each day of the year. Whether that is true or not, it is true that the love of God and confidence in his power ought to give us peace of soul and courage for action.
Many people are timid and fearful by nature or by nurture. Many have learned to shrink back from challenges. The new birth instills in us a spirit that casts out this tendency.
For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me, a prisoner for his sake, but by God’s power accept your share of suffering for the gospel. He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus. He has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel! 2Tim 1.7-10.
From the two letters we have of Paul to Timothy, it appears the latter may have been a fearful person, influenced by powerful personalities and easily involved in discussions and controversies. Paul calls him to express the power, love, and self-control given him by God.
If God “has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” what can we not do to get out that news? What can we not dare in the name of Christ?
Timidity is infectious. We must not be infected by it, nor must we let any outbreak of it affect others.
Focus Question: Are you timid? What do you fear? What will you do to change that and assume the spirit that God gives you?