I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. (2 Tim 1:5)
Two books in the New Testament of the Bible bear his name. As a young man, he had been “well spoken of” by disciples of Jesus at Lystra and Iconium (Acts 16:2). He accompanied the apostle Paul on evangelistic journeys, far away from home. He was eventually urged by Paul to remain at Ephesus “so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine” (1 Tim 1:3). He had been charged “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word” (2 Tim 4:1-2). But before all of this, there was a mother and a grandmother.
Timothy’s faith had grown to be sincere. He was a genuine believer, fully assured in what he was hoping for and personally convicted of things he had not seen. But 2 Timothy 1:5 specifically draws our attention to the roots of Timothy’s faith–a faith that dwelt first in his grandmother and mother.
Faith is most certainly personal. You cannot have faith for someone else. We each must grow to be personally assured of things hoped for, individually convicted of things not seen. But when genuine faith is consistently modeled, when the substance of faith is diligently taught, the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ can ignite in the hearts of others. That’s what had happened in young Timothy–grandson of Lois, son of Eunice–to such a degree that Paul could write, “I am sure” sincere faith dwells in you also.
Here’s a question worth thinking about: what can you do to impact potential faith or strengthen existing faith in the heart of someone else today? Who can you pray for? Who could use a word of encouragement? Whose spirit could be lifted by a note of appreciation? Who is going through a particularly difficult time right now? Who could use a listening ear? Who recently responded to the gospel? Who might be on the verge of turning to Jesus? If you’re a parent, what little seed of faith can you plant or water in the hearts of your children today? If you’re a grandparent, how can you reinforce faith in the hearts of your grandchildren today?
The same assurance and conviction that dwells in you today can blossom as sincere faith in the heart of someone else in the days, weeks, months, years, and decades to come. Ten thousand years from now, what will have been more worthwhile than that?