The past influences the present and even the future. We are not such autonomous beings that we can forget the past. Even if we tried, we would not be successful, and this attempt actually may prove to be harmful. There is a whole social component to our lives that we must consider. Paul does essentially this when he reminds Timothy of his grandmother, Lois and his mother, Eunice.
He reminds Timothy that they raised him up in a community of faith. Timothy, in a sense, is a product of their lives. This point should give us insight in a practical way in viewing our own children. We should, to the best of our abilities, expose them to the grace of God in Christ and raise them in a community of faith. This communal aspect will stay with them for many years to come.
When we do this, one of the things that we can hope for is the formation of Christian character. As Paul states, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (1 Timothy1:7). If you think about these words, is not this exactly what we hope for in our children and even for ourselves? Boldness, love, and, self-discipline create men and women that the world needs.
Also as you begin to contemplate these qualities, you will begin to realize that they create an interesting combination. Boldness is rarely combined with love in our world and self-discipline is rarely even talked about, let alone viewed in connection with boldness and love. However, these qualities produce balance. A love that is bold, a boldness that is loving, and the quality of self-discipline undergirding everything is a good way to view Christian maturity. God’s grace in community is the way these things can be formed.
Tags: 2 Timothy 1:1-7, Bible study, Commentary, Paul, Theology