“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but one of power and of love and of soundness of mind.”—2 Timothy 1:7, New World Translation.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”—2 Timothy 1:7, New King James Version.
Meaning of 2 Timothy 1:7
God can help a person courageously do what is right. God does not want anyone to succumb to “cowardice”—an unhealthy fear that can hold a person back from doing things that please Him.
Consider the three God-given qualities mentioned in this verse that help to dispel fear or cowardice.
“Power.” Christians have been able to serve God courageously in the face of many dangerous enemies and situations. They have not shrunk back in fear. (2 Corinthians 11:23-27) How is this accomplished? The apostle Paul put it this way: “For all things I have the strength through the one who gives me power.” (Philippians 4:13) God can give his worshippers “power beyond what is normal” to rise above any challenge.—2 Corinthians 4:7.
“Love.” Deep love for God helps a Christian to stand up courageously for what is right. Likewise, love for fellow humans motivates a Christian to put the needs of others ahead of his own, even when he is facing opposition or danger.—John 13:34; 15:13.
“Soundness of mind.” In the Bible, soundness of mind generally refers to a Christian’s ability to make wise Bible-based decisions. Someone with soundness of mind is able to remain sensible and reasonable even when facing difficulties. He can make decisions that reflect God’s thinking, knowing that his relationship with God is more important than the opinions of others.
Context of 2 Timothy 1:7
The Bible book of Second Timothy was written by the apostle Paul as a letter to his dear friend and fellow worker Timothy. In this letter, Paul warmly encouraged the younger man Timothy to continue working hard in the ministry. (2 Timothy 1:1, 2) Timothy may have been somewhat shy and timid, which could have held him back in his activities with the Christian congregation. (1 Timothy 4:12) But Paul reminded Timothy that he had received a gift—a special assignment of service in the congregation. He urged Timothy not to hesitate when exercising his authority as a congregation overseer, when preaching the good news, and when enduring adversity for the sake of his faith.—2 Timothy 1:6-8.
Although these words were originally written to Timothy, they assure all those who want to serve God today that He will supply the help they need to do so successfully, no matter the challenge.