In Timothy’s apparent shyness, fear had begun to seize him. However, the gift of the Holy Spirit of God Paul referred to previously, would not cause him to be afraid. On the contrary, it would make him bold. He does not need to be shy or afraid to use his authority in the church. Boldness and brashness are not the same thing. All too often, there are those of God’s people who either want to exercise gifts that others have, not them, or else, act as though they had a calling, in which they are very confident, but not actually equipped at all – that is brashness.
By His Spirit, God empowers His people; power equivalent to the job in hand. Despite his anxieties, Timothy actually could be the leader God wanted him to be. The gift of God provides that strength of character he needs.
Of course, Christian leaders serve the people. Those who have authority must use it with love. There is no contradiction between strong and powerful leadership and the presence of a genuine love and concern for God’s people. Strength without love is damaging, a wrong concept of love in leadership, especially without godly strength, is debilitating. The combination of both of these factors, in the calling of God, will provide the direction and encouragement the believers need from their leaders. Leaders must love God and His people. Such love is not always easy to exercise. But, as with true power, love is the gift of God. So then, leaders can love as God intends them to love. Paul also says that the Holy Spirit also brings the control of our minds, which is what the phrase “a sound mind” means. What is true of leaders, such as Timothy, will be true of all of God’s people living as they ought to; these three things are synonymous with the ministry of the Spirit (cf. Acts 1:8; Galatians 5:22).
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