by Doug Markle of Beloved Lord Ministries
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
This is a verse that I like to look at all the different versions and translations to see how they render it…
- For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (NIV)
- For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)
- For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)
- For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (Amplified. (NOTE, for the Amplified version, anything in parentheses () is an alternate translation of the word or phrase. Anything in brackets  is commentary added for more clarity or context).
I like to take in the different renderings because I believe it gives me a clearer understanding of what Paul was trying to convey.
This particular verse has been an anchor verse for me in various situations because of the different ideas incorporated in it. For instance, when I am searching for the boldness of God in a situation, I am reminded that I am not given to a spirit of fear, timidity, cowardice, but of power and boldness. When I am fighting anxiety or depression, I hang my hat on God giving me a self-controlled, powerful, sound, calm and well-balanced mind. When I am dealing with temptation, I remember that I am given self-control and self-discipline by God through His Spirit. When I am tempted to react in anger, I remind myself that God gave me His love.
What jumps out at you in these different renderings of this passage?
Prayer: Glorious God, thank you for your Spirit living in me. I know that you did not give me fear, anxiety, timidity, cowardice. You gave me power, love, self-control, self-discipline, and a calm and well-balanced mind.