Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Faithful Mentorship is a Two-Way Street
Phil. 2:19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. 20 I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But Timothy’s worth you know, how like a son with a 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 trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.
Paul had invested much time and energy into the life of Timothy. It is apparent that Paul now had complete trust in Timothy and that he would faithfully fulfill his duties. He was confident that he could send Timothy in his place because he knew that Timothy’s passion and concern would reflect his own. There would be no self-interest in all of this, but simply a genuine desire to glorify Jesus Christ.
Taking the time to invest in the lives of others is vitally important. Every now and then God will place a Timothy into your life. He was a young man that was worth the investment. Paul could see his potential that simply needed some nurture and care. There were times that Timothy was timid and afraid, and that he needed encouragement. He was young in his ministry assignment and there were those who didn’t always like the ways in which he did things. Timothy probably had trouble speaking up for himself and yet, there were always those letters from Paul. He encouraged Timothy to keep pressing on, never to be distracted and to remain faithful for the mission of Jesus Christ.
Intentionality in discipleship and mentorship is vital if we are to have a future. There will always be young people like Timothy with great potential, but sometimes what is needed is encouragement to be unlocked, or unleashed. As followers of Jesus Christ we should always be looking for opportunities to raise up the next generation of leaders. There is no need to be intimidated by them, for our greatest joy will come from watching them grow and develop far beyond our capabilities. Paul knew what Timothy’s weaknesses were, but he never exploited them, instead he found ways to strengthen them for the benefit of the kingdom.
It becomes pretty obvious that Timothy was willing to be mentored. His spirit of humility comes through in his actions. He has learned from Paul what it means to truly follow Jesus Christ. He doesn’t seem to try and take the place of Paul, or do this work or ministry for selfish gain. The motivations of the heart need to be checked when one is seeking a mentor. The motivation should always be for the sake of the kingdom, not to receive personal fame. Genuine love for God and love for others needs to flow out of the recesses of one’s heart.
When this faithful mentorship becomes a two-way street, it is possible to hand off the baton to the next generation. This is faithful cultivation of sustainability within the kingdom of God. We all have a responsibility to act in this way, respecting and encouraging others to be faithful and successful in the work that God has called us all to do. Suddenly there is genuine love for God and service that rises above all other motivations and the Lord is glorified.
We find great joy in the work of others when we realize it is all for the sake of God’s kingdom.
Lord, open my eyes to be discipled and to be a discipler for your glory. Amen.