AN EQUAL SOUL
The apostle Paul wrote two letters to his young friend Timothy who was a shy boy raised by his mother and
grandmother, both of whom were known to be strong in the Lord. When Timothy grew up, his grandmother’s
guidance in particular caused him a to be dedicated believer in Christ just as she was. His energy was
directed in caring about others, as emphasized by his friend and mentor the apostle Paul who said that there
weren’t many “like him”. This seldom used Greek expression literally translates to “an equal soul” with the
intent of the words being one of complete harmony within a personal or close relationship.
(How did I know this? I looked it up.)
Paul befriended and mentored several youths: namely Timothy, Onessimus, and Titus. In his own way he
loved all three. He didn’t hesitate to hold back instruction from any of them, and in Timothy’s case he
passionately expressed himself in a letter by sayting "I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy."
Timothy was regarded by Paul with the tenderest affection, arguably hinting at his own “thorn in the flesh”
which he wrestled with throughout his life. It appears that Paul particularly sought the company of his
young male friends.
His advice to Timothy was that because he was still young, that was no excuse for allowing adults to
intimidate him about his faith, and Paul urged him to step out of his shyness by defending what he knew to
be right in the eyes of the Lord. He exhorted Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God” which was in him.
In today’s wording we would say that the power of the Holy Spirit was with Timothy. Paul knew it and
Paul encouraged it.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity” said Paul in addressing his shyness. He advised his friend
Timothy to dedicate his shyness to God and to recognize it as a special sensitivity. And so our young
Timothy did. He realized that by answering the call of God within him that he would see the
Like Timothy, I too have a shy side and so do many of you, and that makes you exactly the one God can
use. Be sensitive to His leading and God will be able to use you throughout your whole life. The Holy Spirit
will enable you, and you will quickly find yourself being used in ways you never dreamed possible.
“It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce”
(II Timothy 2:6)