I get it. I really do. I understand the uplifting power of wanting so badly to read a verse on it’s own to make me feel better. I get the idea of a pastor using a verse in his teaching to encourage and bolster up his congregation. However, I don’t get why plucking one verse out of context is OK in any way at all. It does not glorify God, it only glorifies self. Yesterday I wrote about several verses that are taken out of context an used for selfish gain or selfish pats on the back. Today in my daily study I came across yet another verse used by a pastor who has taken this verse way out of context. “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV) He used it in the sense of when you feel powerless to overcome a situation or to keep going when times get hard and more specifically how to take control of your weight and what you eat and how you exercise. This pastor, as many do, is using this verse to tell us to have courage, have faith, and be bold in striving toward creating better habits. It is basically self-help while using God’s Word to support his views. This broke my heart when I read his devotional. If you read 2 Timothy, Paul was writing to Timothy and was encouraging to remember when the Holy Spirit entered him and the power that was behind it. To not have a spirit of fear in regard to preaching the true gospel. Paul wanted Timothy to not give up on spreading the Word. He was not encouraging him to be a better person or to be bold in things such as being healthy, he was encouraging him to SPREAD THE WORD OF GOD. God DID give us a Spirit of power and love and self-control in order to spread the word. So, that begs the question… Are you afraid or timid when it comes to sharing the gospel with others? Do you have self control in being purposeful about spreading the Word? Are you intentional and bold? Do you allow the Holy Spirit to work in you powerfully and loving when you talk to others about Jesus? Read the verse again, in fact, read the first part of 2 Timothy. Don’t let me tell you, let God’s Word speak for itself.