By James Metsger
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. (Philippians 2:19-24)
Some people tend to be a little intimidated by Paul—as if he’s the perfect Christian who sits high on his holy mountain preaching complex theology for like-minded deep thinkers. But sections of his letters like this in chapter three, verses 19-30, give us a glimpse into a personable side of Paul—the side that cared deeply for his friends and needed their encouragement. Paul called for us to be mindful in how we interact in our church community, and he lived it out himself.
In these verses, Paul speaks tenderly about two men very close to him: Timothy and Epaphroditus. Though we may be tempted to skim over these verses because he’s dealing with more personal topics, they give excellent insight into what Paul valued. We would do well to strive for the same as we create or embrace a community of believers in our lives. Let’s look at Timothy first.
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. (Philippians 2:19)
In a me-first world, Timothy was unique in his concern for others. He truly cared about God’s flock. We tend to be big fans of ourselves. I’m my favorite subject, too! But Paul valued people who valued others and showed genuine interest in them. Maybe this trait of Timothy’s is what motivated Paul to send him to those fledgling churches so he could help implement Paul’s instructions in them. Timothy could do this because he cared about these people and wanted them to flourish.
The other day Melissa sat down at the dining room table, looked me in the eyes and asked, “Hey, how are you doing?” It wasn’t a thoughtless or obligatory question…she came from the other room, sat down next to me at the table and looked right at me. She showed genuine concern for me.
We should be aspiring to show genuine care and concern for others. In the same way, pray for people in your life who will show genuine concern for you. You can give it to others, but let’s be honest, we need it too!