Speaking to the Soul – April 13

Genuine faith

“I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.” 2 Timothy 1:5-6

When I was a boy one of the great pleasures of Saturday afternoons was that I would light a bonfire with my dad. I came to love the smell of bonfires, probably because it reminded me of those happy moments. And the greatest pleasure of all was the process of getting the fire going. Sometimes we struggled but then, by fanning the flames carefully, we would have the joy of seeing the fire take hold. Paul used this image to speak of his longing for the growth of Timothy’s faith. It wasn’t enough that he had a godly grandmother and mother. He needed to have a strong faith himself and so the flames needed to be carefully fanned.

Through the centuries, many people have looked at Christianity as a club. All that matters is that you’re a member of the club and have your ticket for heaven. The New Testament presents Christian faith as a relationship with God. And because it’s a relationship, and no relationship can stand still, it is either getting stronger or weaker. That was very much Paul’s thinking. He was determined that his young friend Timothy should grow in faith – and that wasn’t going to happen without determination and careful planning.

I wonder what you are doing to fan the flames of your faith. We all have a different relationship with God and so there isn’t only one way of achieving this, but here are some suggestions: Spending time with God has to be number one. Setting aside time to read the Bible, pray and reflect is incredibly valuable. Give yourself enough space so that you have time to listen to God. And it is also important to spend time with other Christians. Worshipping with them is great but so, too, is talking with them. When we go it alone, we can easily assume that we are the only ones with temptations and problems to face. But when we have an honest relationship with Christian brothers and sisters, we soon discover that we are all in it together.


What are you going to do to fan the flames of your faith over the next month?


Loving God, thank you that love me so much that you want my relationship with you to become stronger. Help me to take steps to help that happen. Amen