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
Timothy, according to Paul, was a rare breed. Among a rough of many self-seeking ministers of the gospel, Paul saw Timothy as a diamond. What set him apart was his genuine concern for the welfare of others. Paul trusted this trait of Timothy’s was true, not a facade, because he had been like a father to Timothy. He mentored and discipled him.
Discipleship is something that transforms the whole world to look like Jesus. When I’m being discipled, or discipling someone else, we are not the only people being benefited. As a disciple, I’m growing in my concern for others and shrinking in my concern for self. And as a disciple-maker, I’m learning about the character of people near me, so that I can send trusted disciples, like Paul did with Timothy, to people who are hurting.
Jesus, I read about Timothy and feel I have a long way to go before my reputation is that of a man who genuinely cares for the welfare of others more than himself. Keep working on my heart through the people you’ve put in my life to lead me in the way of Christ. Help me discern when it’s time to delegate a need in the church to someone I’ve been leading who has shown the rare character of genuine care for others. Let me serve the world, not only the disciples, through discipleship.
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.