Saturday, December 5

Genuine care for others

Scripture: Philippians 1-4

Philippians 2:20–21 I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. 21 All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.

Observation

Paul told the Philippians that he hoped to send Timothy to check on them, and then added this commendation: No one else genuinely cared about their welfare like Timothy.  The others cared only for themselves, not what mattered to Jesus.  The NET says, “they are busy with their own concerns, not those of Jesus.”  

What a ringing endorsement of Timothy and shocking criticism of others!

Application

Of course I can’t help but wonder what Paul would write about me!  Am I someone who genuinely cares for others, or is simply busy with my own concerns, interests and business?  

Honestly, during this Covid season I have felt more selfish than usual.  When I don’t see other people—well, out of sight, out of mind!  I don’t think about them as often as I otherwise would.  I end up thinking more of myself.

And it’s more difficult to care for people now—although I realize that this passage challenges that excuse, since Timothy was in Rome with Paul, miles away from Philippi and with no way to stay connected, yet he cared deeply.  Perhaps that was reflected in his prayers, like those of Epaphras for the Colossian Christians (see Colossians 4:12-13).  

My challenge today: get beyond myself and my interests and activities, and care for others by praying for them, and by reaching out to them.  

Prayer: Lord, it’s so easy for me to be selfish, especially now.  Give me the same character and heart that Timothy had—one of genuine concern for others.