So the other day I was meditating on Philippians 2 – again! It seems like I just can’t get away from this passage. And while it’s easy to rightfully focus on the first few verses (the Kenosis passage as it’s called), as I listened to this chapter on repeat on my Dwell Bible App (They should honestly pay me for how much I promote them!), Paul’s words about Timothy caught my attention.
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
“I have no man who will naturally care for you.” What? No one? Apparently, that is the case. Why? They’re consumed with their own self-Interests.
It’s funny how tough times have a way of bringing out the true us. Some are givers, others are hoarders.
Imagine the position Paul found himself in. He wants to care for the church at Philippi, but he’s in prison. He wants to send someone to help, but all are focused on their own agendas. They might “help” but their help will come with a price. It will come with a measure of self-interest.
It’s difficult to find people who love without agenda.
This is what makes family relationships so unique. Take my Byer family for instance. No question we are a different group than just five years ago. More kids, different phases of life, and transitions. 14 nieces and nephews; or was that 16? Still, we FaceTime and do things like virtual communion (cool experience by the way!). Why? We’re family.
When I think about the body of Christ, this should be no different.
Loving people while having no agenda is difficult. Jesus taught that the key indicator of love is when we give, expecting nothing in return. It’s inviting someone over for supper, but having no expectation they will return the favor. It’s doing something random and kind for another person with no care if they do the same to you. It’s staying in touch with someone you care about, regardless if life and circumstances make it challenging.
Being a Timothy is tough. It’s rare. And it’s something we need more of in the body of Christ during this Covid-19 season.
So how do we do this? Many ways, but here are a couple ideas. You know that older person who is tucked away in their homes during this season? Take some time to call them and listen to what they have to say. See on Facebook that one of your friends several states away is going through a tough time? Message them some encouragement. Send someone a card. Drop off groceries. Give to a food bank. Spend some extra time praying for one of your friends who has lost their job during this time.
The cool thing is that when you truly love people without an agenda, this is one of the greatest pointers to Christ.
It’s easy to preach and tell people to have the mind of Christ from Philippians 2:7. This is important. But it’s equally important to put our faith into action by obeying the model in the verses that follow. Be a Timothy.