1:7 spirit of fear. Under the severe persecution of Nero, with Paul in prison and condemned to death, it would be natural for Timothy and other believers to be afraid and to refrain from speaking out for Christ. The same tendency to fear affects believers today as well, often for much less reason. Paul would remind us that this fearful attitude is not from God. He has given us the Spirit of power (Acts 1:8), the Spirit of love (Galatians 5:22), and the Spirit of a sound (that is “sober”) mind, that is, the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16).