Christians who have been raised in a Christian home or a Christian school have often struggled with reconciling their “second-hand faith” with their Christian lives and the question of “Is my faith really real?” can haunt and devour many, many believers.
Timothy probably shared the same struggle with his own faith, to which is why Paul writes to him these words:
“Timothy, I believe with all my heart, that your faith, even though it’s rooted in your mother’s and grandmother’s faith, is sincere (anupokritou)—authentic, really yours. You are your own man. You are not mama’s boy. You are not gamma’s boy. Your faith is yours, even though it was first your mother’s and grandmother’s.
Don’t feel less authentic because of that lineage. My ministry, my service to God, is also from my parents. I, too, have been deeply shaped by my lineage. Don’t begrudge this family influence, Timothy. Glory in it.”