Courage on Campus: God Has Not Given Us a Spirit of Fear
Dylan, who recently graduated from college with a political science degree and will soon enter law school, shares his thoughts on how the Bible gave him courage.
Many people have what they might call a life verse or even something that is their go-to Bible verse in times of trouble. Most people will memorize this verse and even write it out on post-it notes as a reminder throughout the day. For me this verse is 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God gave us not a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
This verse has played an integral role in the way that I live my life. For instance, it may be crazy to think that my academic performance in college could be assisted by this verse, but I have no doubt that it was. Because of this verse I was not too timid to ask for help when I needed it. Beyond that, I was able to take comfort that God has given me the self-discipline to fight against procrastination and get my project done. I also found great comfort in knowing that I had the power through God’s grace to work through complex issues and problems I encountered at school.
There is great authority in knowing that the God of the universe has, first of all, given me a spirit that is not timid, but more importantly that he has also given me— and you—the ability to love others, the power from the Lord to do that, and the self-discipline to conquer sin through Christ.
As much power as there is in one verse and the impact that it has on my life, the entirety of scripture provides an even greater sense of strength in the knowledge of God’s authority over my life. I would like to encourage you to have a verse that is foundational in your life, and is something that you use as a constant reminder about the faithfulness of our God. I want to also challenge you to make an effort to hold the Bible near and dear to your heart.
My friends, I know how difficult it is to be faithful in continually reading God’s word. In this be reminded that we serve a God that has given us both power and self-discipline.For me, there is a significant difference in my life when I am investing in the Word of God and when I am not. When I am consistent with my Bible reading, I find that I am more inclined to seek first to love others rather than find their flaws, and know that, regardless of my daily situation, I have a Savior who is in control.
I pass on this bit of my story–along with my encouragement to you in your continual seeking to put God and His Word first—because I have seen the direct impact that the Bible has had on my life, as well as the people who surround me. In addition, I would like to invite you to begin thinking about what it looks like to live out what the Bible is teaching you.
Every year in early October, Bring Your Bible to School Day (this year’s date will be announced soon!) is sponsored by Focus on the Family. This is a great opportunity to share God’s love and truth with your friends at school and demonstrate that God has not given you a spirit of timidity, but one of love, power, and self-discipline. I understand the nervousness that may come from living out your faith. Personally, I always worried what others would think about me if I lived a radical life for Him. But upon having my Dad share this verse (2 Tim. 1:7) with me, I realized that I have no need to be timid in my actions, and that if I happen to be ridiculed for living out my faith, I can love on those that do it, while also having the spiritual and mental capacity to overcome their trivial jests. In the end, I was able to build lasting relationships with people whom I would have never met. On bring Your Bible to School Day, maybe you could have a conversation with a friend about why you take the time to read your Bible and how much it has impacted your life, much like I have done with you today. More than anything, it is about starting the conversation.