This has been one of my favorite scriptures for years. The reason being is that it’s a life verse of sorts, a reality, not just a theory. Prior to coming to the Lord, I was a scared, anxious little kid. Those who knew me when I was young will confirm this. My parents had to constantly work with me on not being a chicken. I was afraid of answering the phone, afraid of answering the door. My Mom had to go out of her way to give me opportunities to confront my fear and anxieties, MAKING me answer the phone and answer the door. If you knew me up until the time I was 17, you would say it was my personality, that I was just quiet, reclusive and anxious.
But the Bible says different.
This scripture tells us that boldness is not a personality trait, but a characteristic of righteous people! It also tells us that wicked people are cowardly and run when no one is chasing them. So according to the Bible, cowardice is not a personality trait but a characteristic of wicked people! This is an uncomfortable reality, but it is the truth! It wasn’t until I really began to seek and serve the Lord that I experienced boldness like a lion! In my sin and depravity, in my fear and anxiety I was timid. Timidity is another word for cowardice. Timidity is NOT from the Lord!
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” – ii Timothy 1:7
Many people, like me when I was a kid identified and personalized my dysfunction by saying things like, “I’m just timid” or “I’m just given to anxiety”. But as the scripture tells us, these spirits are not personality traits, they are bondage from the enemy and a sure sign we are NOT walking in righteousness! Conversely, as we turn to the Lord and are forgiven and released from the bondage of our sin, we begin to walk as righteous people walk; in BOLDNESS! Righteous people who have been forgiven of their sin and set free from the powers of hell are bold people! We’re bold before the Lord and we have nothing to hide. This makes us bold before people. It’s been said, “The man that fears God will never fear man.” This is truth!
When Jesus set me free of all my bondage and I was right before Him, I was transformed. I became BOLD. My personality didn’t change, my heart did. I went from being wicked to being righteous and as a result I went from being anxious and fearful to being “as bold as a lion”. Today I tell people about how I used to be and they have a difficult time imagining the now bold & outspoken Ryan as being timid and fearful. My transformation from a chicken to a lion is now complete.
Foolish people identify with and personalize their weakness. Wise people renounce it and are changed.