Fan into Flame
By Jennifer Slattery
“For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6
I know what’s it like to grow tired and discouraged, to give until I’m spent and feel as if my efforts had no effect.
But my struggles have never been anything close to what Timothy, the original recipient of today’s verse, faced. He must’ve felt defeated, teetering on the edge of despair. Authorities were publically torturing Christians across the Roman Empire in the most vicious ways. Worse, his beloved mentor, Paul, was imprisoned and sentenced to death.
I imagine Timothy was ready to give up. To take the easy route and disengage. But Paul, the author of today’s verse, urged him to keep fighting, to “fan into flames,” or kindle afresh, “the spiritual gift God gave [him] ...” The idea here is of resuscitating a dying fire. Paul knew he would soon be executed, and he could’ve said countless things, but he zeroed in on this—don’t give up.
I don’t know what you’re facing today. Maybe it feels like your ministry is thriving and everything is going well, or maybe you’re tired and discouraged. If you’re struggling to persevere, can I say to you the same thing Paul said to his beloved friend—don’t quit. Don’t disengage.
Whatever you do, don’t neglect the spiritual gift that God has placed within you. Use it and feed it with the kindling of obedience until it’s filled with fire and passion. Keep fighting, because as Scripture promises, at the proper time, you’ll reap a harvest if you don’t give up (Gal. 6:9).
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, releasing in the spring/summer of 2019. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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Originally published Friday, 28 January 2022.