I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But Timothy’s worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.
In a world full of challenges which often hit us square in the face, and sometimes seem to threaten our own well being, it is being different to take on the attitude of mind which Jesus Christ had (see all of Philippians 2) and to which we in Christ are called. But that is what we’re called to. To have a heart for others, no matter what we ourselves might be going through. In fact to have a heart that lives for others in God’s will in Jesus, by grace endeavoring to do so to the very end.
Paul singles out Timothy in matters pertaining to the service of the gospel. Maybe it was something like Timothy being a deacon to a priest within the church, although it seems to me to be more about the work of planting and establishing churches through the gospel. Maybe something of both.
The point is to be taken especially for leadership in the church. But leadership is in place in large part to model a life seeking to live out the truth that is in Jesus. So that others might follow the leaders, imitate their faith in living with the same goal and passion.
Of course we all need to grow into this. It doesn’t come overnight, and not without struggle. Nor does one arrive to the place where they no longer need to grow in such. If our model is Jesus Christ by the Spirit, then it is evident why this will be ongoing throughout our lifetime. Not to mention that none of us arrive to the place in this life in which we are without sin (1 John 1).
This truth in Jesus, that we’re not only to look after ourselves, but especially to others is to more and more mark who we are, and what we do. What we are all about in our lives. And not just ourselves, but doing so with others. Seeking to grow up together as one body in the maturity that is in Christ (Ephesians 4).