Do you ever get the sense that someone is caring for you just so they can get what they want from you? Or maybe they want to help you so you will help them? Unfortunately, this happens time and time again and the cliché “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” is played out.
Most of us have the tendency to think that if we do something for someone, they should certainly owe us the next time we need a helping hand. If we’re honest with ourselves, this is the mentality most of us live with. Or maybe you find yourself helping others because you need to feel some sort of value in doing or think that unless you’re doing something for someone else, they won’t want you around.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul shares that he is sending Timothy back to them, who was sent by the church to care and encourage Paul in prison. Paul wanted to let the church know that Timothy had done exactly what they sent him to do, as well as commend Timothy. In Philippians 2:19, we get a glimpse into the heart of this young man.
Paul writes, “Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon so that I too may be encouraged by news about you. For I have no one else like-minded who will genuinely care about your interests, all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
Timothy sought the interest of Jesus Christ. Timothy put aside his own selfish gain and own need to be valued for what he did solely for the interest of Jesus Christ in each and every person and situation he encountered. Wow! No wonder Paul wanted to commend him.
I also think that Paul was pointing to Timothy’s heart attitude as an example of what he was writing them about earlier in chapter 2. Verse 3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.” And in verse 7, Paul points to Christ’s servant heart and humility, which is ultimately who Timothy is following after.
I admit that I struggle with having my own interests or selfish ambitions be motivating factors for why I do what I do. I long to find it easy, but it’s not and is a constant battle for me to operate out of a place of health and wholeness. Through examples like Timothy and Paul, I know that Christ can move in my heart and transform my motivation to be solely focused on the interests of Christ.
What about you? Do you find putting Christ’s interests above your own difficult?
And can you imagine having someone say that about you like Paul did of Timothy? What would your relationships look like? What would our church look like?