How You Can Eliminate the Spirit of Fear From Your Life

by | Aug 29, 2019 | Women

One of the Scriptures many Christians know well is 2 Timothy 1:7. In the New King James Version, it reads: “For God has not given us a spirt of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” What is a “sound mind”? How can you know if your mind is “sound”? What can you do to get it?

I’ve written a lot about this in the past. But a friend asked me that question recently, and it prompted me to look at this Scripture deeply once again. In our 21st-century culture, it would sure be nice to replace fear with “power, love and a sound mind.”

Two Greek words in this verse demand special attention. The first is the word translated “fear.” The usual word translated “fear” is phobos, used in such verses as Luke 8:50b (MEV): “Do not fear. Only believe.” It refers to that feeling of dread that something bad is going to happen.

But in 2 Timothy 1:7, a different word is used; deilia. This word means “timidity or cowardice.” Rather than a feeling, this word describes a state of passivity, of holding back, of failing to step up and do what is required.

The other Greek word of note in this verse is sóphronismos, here translated “sound mind.” A more specific or accurate meaning of this word is self-control, self-discipline or prudence. Such a person would own full responsibility for his/her thoughts, feelings, responses and behaviors, refusing to passively give control over to any person or circumstance.

While the translation of this verse you and I memorized is certainly uplifting, understanding these more specific meanings lends a whole new dimension to what we are to do with our minds.

What Does That Look Like?

Not passive and timid. Self-controlled and self-disciplined. In short, this looks like telling your mind what to do and where to go instead of chasing after every thought and feeling that comes. Tweet that.

It means not allowing feelings to be your guide. Feelings make life colorful. They provide immensely valuable information about your internal and external environment. But feelings make a very poor guide!

It means owning your thoughts and feelings as your own, and refusing to allow anyone else to be in charge of your mind. God gave you executive authority over your own mind. You are responsible for how you use it.

It means intentionally choosing the input you allow into your mind, and choosing how you think about that input. That’s what Paul talks about in Philippians 4:8. And it’s what he means by “taking every thought captive” in 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Your thoughts are not all-powerful, but they are much more powerful than you realize. Circumstances affect you, but you get to choose how you respond. You probably don’t place enough importance on your own ability to choose what your mind does.

As I read this verse with this understanding, I get the sense of an almost militant stance in being in charge of one’s own mind. The “sound mind” God has given through His Spirit into our spirit is not passive or weak, but strong, focused, resilient, proactive, intentional and responsible.

We will be faced with trouble, sometimes serious trouble, in this world. Circumstances and other people affect us. We are not invincible! But we are responsible. We get to choose what to do next.

That includes inviting Jesus right into the middle of our circumstances. And it includes choosing what to do with our mind in the process.

How to Do That

When you struggle with negative feelings or thoughts, what do you do next? When you face a troubling circumstance or become aware of some old wounds, how do you respond?

You and I cannot heal ourselves. But we can choose to own our own wounds, to place ourselves where healing is possible, and to take healing into our being.

You cannot change your spouse. But you can do the challenging work of changing yourself as the Holy Spirit directs, and choose different ways of interacting with your spouse.

You cannot change the things others do to you. But you can choose how to respond. Even prisoners of war who learned to choose their responses came through more intact. You can learn healthy forgiveness.

You cannot eliminate darkness by railing against it. But you can choose to light a candle. You can choose to “overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21b).

You cannot undo your passivity from the past. But you can refuse to be passive one more day. You can look for the problem God has placed in front of you, and take action to do something about it. You can find one person or group of people who need help, and help them.

That’s exercising the sound mind that God has given you.

Your Turn: In what areas have you been passive or timid? Where are you going to step up and take responsibility in taking positive action? Leave a comment below. {eoa}

Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is both a board-certified OB-GYN physician and an ordained doctor of ministry. As an author and speaker, she loves helping people discover the Fully Alive kind of life Jesus came to bring us. Visit her website at drcarolministries.com.

This article originally appeared at drcarolministries.com.

For more about defeating fear, listen to the podcasts included here.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Kingdom Economics: When Things Don’t Go as Expected

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Before the invasion, many—probably most—Western analysts expected the war to last from a few days to a few weeks due to Russia’s vastly superior military might. However, the Ukrainians surprised everyone. Due to the bravery...

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

America stands in a crucial moment, much like the moment where Elijah made Israel choose between Baal and Jehovah. Elijah said to the people, "How long do you halt between two opinions? If Baal is God..." That's according to Evangelist Mario Murillo, whose ministry...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

RECENT ARTICLES

Satan Tried, But He Couldn’t Stop the Evangelization of 80,000 Youth in Tennessee

Every year, tens of thousands of youth pack the fields in Manchester, Tennessee for a classic music and arts festival. Over 150 musicians make music before an ocean of fans for four days. I join the...
The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

The Best Way to Love Others and Yourself

I believe that other than the gospel regarding salvation through faith in Christ, learning to walk in love is the most important lesson in God’s Word. Jesus says that love is the most important commandment (Mark 12:28–31). The apostle Paul writes that love is the...

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]