When Paul thought of his friend Timothy, he reflected on his genuine faith in the Lord Jesus, which is a good testimony to have for a Christian.
Timothy truly loves the Saviour. And when Paul thought of Timothy’s faith, he was reminded of the women who nurtured it. 2 Timothy 1:5-6, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” Lois and Eunice where godly, Jewish women who believed in Christ (Acts 16:1). Paul wanted Timothy to remember his grandmother Lois, and her commitment to the faith once delivered. He wanted Timothy to remember the great faith of his mother Eunice, who came to faith in Christ, and believed, even though her husband apparently did not. He wanted Timothy to remember the faith of these women in raising him up and teaching him the Bible and to see God’s providential care. Paul wanted Timothy to remember that he too believed and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ and to be encouraged as Paul was convinced Timothy followed after the Lord, just like his mother and grandmother, with a real, genuine faith. I imagine if you asked Timothy, he would have considered Lois and Eunice great and godly women. Paul believed Timothy had that same faith in the same Lord.
Remembering his spiritual heritage was an encouragement to Timothy. The Word of God says to “honour thy father and thy mother,” not throw them under the bus. Not only should you honor your physical parents, but also those spiritual fathers and mothers who were instrumental in you coming to faith. Don’t turn your forefathers into villains to make your “journey” more intriguing. Perhaps God is gracious to you by revealing more truth to you than your parents or even your former pastors. Never belittle those who God used to bring you to the faith. Honor them and thank the Lord for them, even if they were not perfect in their knowledge or practice. Why did Paul bring up Eunice and Lois? To fire him up. To get him out of the spiritual doldrums. To shake him out of his fearful immobility and get him motivated and moving again. Remember your faith, remember your heritage, and stir up the gift of God.
“Stirring up the gift of God” might not sound very spiritual, but you can take that up with Paul. God’s gifts to us are meant to be used and we cannot be Samson-like in our treatment of the gifts of God and expect to “slay the Philistines as we have done before”. The specific gifts Paul refers to are the gifts in pulpit ministry but this can be applied to any spiritual gift. Use them and take care to study to improve them.