10 lovePaul is sending Timothy to the Church at Philippi to be an encouragement to them. Encouragement is an “act of emboldening another in belief or course of action.” He chose Timothy because he had a personal interest and concern for the believers in Philippi. He was with Paul when the Church was planted and he encouraged them and ministered to them while Paul and Silas were arrested and placed in Prison. Timothy had a heart for their wellbeing and progress in the Christian faith. Paul said that he chose Timothy because he couldn’t find anyone else with his level of love and concern for them. Timothy loved them enough to tell them the truth. Timothy loved them enough to confront their sin. Like Paul, Timothy had the best interest of the believers foremost in mind and would be willing to say the hard things that needed to be said. Paul explains in Philippians 2:21 that there wasn’t any one more qualified than Timothy “For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” Timothy, however, sought Christ’s interests for them, not his own.

What made Timothy such a unique individual in Paul’s eyes was that he was genuinely concerned for the welfare of others. George Rusty observes in his commentary on Philippians, “Unfortunately, we don’t often focus on others. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is something like, ‘Where and how quickly can I get coffee? Not, ‘What can I do for someone else today?’ How often do you pass by stalled cars on the roadside, without even thinking of stopping? Or on an airplane, do you roll your eyes at the screaming baby across the aisle, or do you think of the poor mom who could use your help? More often than not, we see only ourselves. Yet, when our minds are focused on the needs of others, we are thinking like Jesus.” The interests of Jesus Christ are always other focused. You can follow him in His journeys around Israel and everywhere he went he was concerned about others; he healed them, he fed them, he forgave them, he encouraged them!

Living our faith is basically serving others. In Galatians 5:13 Paul commands us to “serve one another in love.” Serving others means to attend to their needs. Think about Jesus’ mission. He said about Himself, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus also said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). Serving others, is truly serving Christ’s interests. Cliff McManis says, “In Jesus’ day, it was customary for the lowliest slave in a house to wash the guests’ feet as they entered the house. It was a menial, practical, humble, smelly duty. And on the night before His death, Jesus washed His disciples’ dirty feet just before His Last Supper. He was committed to serving others. Serving others is a hallmark of the Christian ethic.”