TIMOTHY- {v 19-23}

“But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition.  For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.  For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.  But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.  Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me;”-{Phil 2:19-23}

Timothy is one of Four illustrations in Philippians chapter 2, of what “This Mind…IN you which was also IN Christ Jesus, “ lived out, looks like, where he lived out verse 3-4. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others…” {v 3-4}

Have THIS Mind {attitude} in  yourselves  which was also in Christ Jesus, “-{Phil 2:5}

He placed others before himself in service to the Lord Jesus. A humble mind actively looks out to prefer and provide for others, through a submissive,obedient mind worked out in sacrificial service to others, motivated by the Mind of Christ! Thinking as He thinks as revealed in the Word of God. It is to contemplate Him, His Word, His thoughts and applying them, by the Power of the Holy Spirit who is In you to help you do His Will. -{Read Phil 1:6; 2:13 NLT}

Scripture says Timothy was “frequently sick,”-{1 Timothy 5:23}, had a shy disposition, easily intimidated -{1 Cor 16:10},and young, so that the tendency was to “look down” upon him because of his age, where he would not be taken seriously in what he had to say. “Look down on ” (kataphroneo from kata = down + phroneo = to think <> phren = mind) literally means to think down upon and so to despise, scorn, hold in contempt, not care for because it is thought to be without value. It means to “think little of.” It speaks of that contempt felt in the mind which is displayed in injurious action. The idea is to look down on someone or something with contempt or aversion, with the implication that one considers the object of little value or as unworthy of one’s notice or consideration.“-{1 Timothy 4:12}.{preceptaustin}.  Timothy was Frequently sick, Fearful,  Despised and looked down upon by others opinions.

Yet, Paul declares the virtues of him “For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. For they ALL seek after their OWN interests, not those of Christ Jesus.  But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father …” – {v 20-22}.

Note the comparison Paul makes between those who “all seek after their own interests and not those of Christ” versus Timothy who sought to use his life to serve Paul, the Phillippans… for the sake of the Gospel. The word “Seek” means to strive after continually, it is present tense with a sense of earnestness, devotion , to themselves first. “Me First!” He is not speaking about lost people but Christians who are living selfishly and not selflessly, they are not living out “… nothing from selfishness or empty conceit” and “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” 

Paul had earlier written about envious preachers,”Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,”-{Phil 2: 15-18}

Did you notice “selfish ambition” is mentioned here and in Phil 2:3 The word (eritheia)  originally meant to work for hire,

A.-but then came to be used and thought of in a negative sense towards people who were solely out to benefit themselves through getting wealth and prestige.

B.- It was often used to describe those to PROMOTE themselves as they were running for government office.

C. – It was used as well for people who were ruthlessly ambitious, who sought to exalt themselves at all costs. Such is the word translated ” Selfish Ambition.” 

The envious believers were preaching Christ… not from pure motives but hoping to cause him “distress.” Such are the “selfishly ambitious” and those seeking “vain glory,” exalting of themselves! Selfishness is Sin! It is devoid of Love for God and others, for it is taken up with self as the end to all living!

Selfishness comes in various manifestations…

A.} -“SORDID GAIN/ DISHONEST GAIN.” – {1 Peter 5:2} -“indecent, dishonorable + kerdos = gain) means a fondness for dishonest gain. It is gain procured in a base and avaricious manner and which would produce shame if uncovered.

This does not refer exclusively to material gain such as the demand of a salary which gives the impression that an elder serves primarily from his desire for selfish purposes rather than his desire to be of service. It may also refer to gaining popularity by adulterating the gospel to attract more people to the congregation, and showing special favors and consideration to the rich and the influential in order to gain personal advantage and profit.“{preceptaustin}

B.} “LORDING/dominating others” –{ 1 Peter 5:3}. “lording”- katakurieuo from katá =an intensifier or down + kurieúo =have dominion over means to have dominion “down” on others and includes the idea of domineering as in the rule of a strong person over one who is weak. It means to exercise dominion over, bring under one’s power, bring into subjection, to become master, gain dominion over or to subdue. The preposition kata (“down”) indicates intensity and depicts a heavy-handed use of authority for personal aggrandizement, manifesting itself in the desire to dominate and accompanied by a haughty demand for compliance.”-{preceptaustin}

C.} – SEEKING PRE-EMIENCE. The apostle John spoke against seeking to be first -“I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say.  For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.”  “-{3 John 1;9-12}.

D.} – DISCRIMINATION; “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes,and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?  ” -{James 2:14}, Favoritism based on what a person has and doesn’t have! And they are exposed as having “become judges with EVIL MOTIVES.” Such is Selfishness,“selfish ambition!” IT IS EVIL!

E.} – MINISTRY, PREACHING; “SEEK AFTER THEIR OWN INTERESTS, NOT THOSE OF CHRIST JESUS.”-{Phil 2:21}.There you have it, in a nut shell! Seeking after your own interests and not those of Christ! If you are not seeking after Christ’s interests and the things of interest to Him then it is selfishness!  Loving God, Loving others, That is Christ’s interest! Some were preaching Christ out of “envy and strife”-{Phil 2:21}. Yes they were preaching Christ but their motives were wrong, they were seeking to harm Paul by doing so!

Timothy’s life was  opposite to the selfish ambitious and empty conceited ones, his life was one of preferring others and providing for their needs… seeking their highest good, for Jesus sake! Timothy exhibited “The MIND of Christ” through living out the Love of Christ!  Love that was not stopped because of illness, intimidation, the opinions of others but love that conquered to honor, esteem more highly than one self and prefer and serve others for the Gospel sake! This was Timothy! OTHERS BEFORE SELF!

He did not use as an excuse to allow frequent sickness, his timid personality or what others thought of him to hinder him from expressing “THIS MIND…” and laying down his life to sacrificially serve Paul and the church at Philippi! A Mind that was SubmissiveSacrificially Serving  Others for Jesus SAKE! A Sympathetic Servant.

Timothy is an Example to us of one who preferred, valued, esteemed others above himself and sought, deliberately, continuously to provide for them. But we need more than an example to be able to emulate. You could wake up some day and not have enough sleep and feel irritable, people around you are not kind and you respond sinfully in your words or deeds, and an example cannot change things. It is fine maybe when all around you are kind, sympathetic, understanding, loving but when not? What we need, what I need, what you need is POWER! And Praise God, He who provided for Timothy and the Philippians has provided you not only the EXAMPLE of living out “THIS Mind…” but also the POWER, Divine enabling, “…For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”-{2:13 NLT},”…the POWER to DO…”

You HAVE THE POWER to do “…nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have THIS Mind {attitude} in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,”

 You have the Power to be an Example and live out “THIS Mind…” in your daily encounter with others! You have the POWER to Love God and Others!

Are you using excuses to keep you from knowing and applying “the mind of Christ?” Are you using your age as an excuse, too old, too young, too sick, fearful of the opinions of others, or has selfishness got in the way such as dishonest gain, lording over others, love to have pre-emenence, discrimination, seeking after your interests and not Christ, even in ministry,”preaching Christ” for all the wrong motives? Self and Sin get in the way, but they don’t have to dominate, distract, detour you from living out “This Mind… that was IN Christ Jesus.” Repent of sin, Return to The LORD, Replace the wrong Thinking and DO His Word, You Have the EXAMPLES… You have the POWER…”IN You…” Be a Timothy…

He SERVED OTHERS before SELF!- { vs 17-18}.