The Men Who Changed the World :: Bill Elliff
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. (Philippians 2:20-22)
I wonder what Paul was really like? If he were in our church, what would we think about him? He was amazingly intense, incredibly focused. He never hesitated to call people out. I doubt he'd be the guy who'd just piddle around much. Not that it's necessarily wrong or sinful, but I don't see him playing video games or watching television till the early hours of the morning. He was probably a guy we might have told to “lighten up.”
But on the other side, he was a man of unfailing God-love, great compassion, constant prayer, and an unceasing desire to see people come to Christ and developed in their faith. He was unbalanced in his drive for the gospel, but balanced in what a true Christian disciple-maker should be and do. He was amazingly effective and had a bull-dog tenacity.
It looks like, from the passage above, that there were many men who couldn't handle his intensity. But there was a band of brothers, fellow-soldiers, who were all in. One of these was Timothy. Notice what he had that Paul applauded.
A KINDRED SPIRIT
"I have no one else of kindred spirit…" vs. 20
Their hearts beat together because they were beating in unison with Christ’s heart. As C.S. Lewis said, ““Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other?”
An AUTHENTIC LOVE
"I have no one else…who is genuinely concerned for your welfare." vs. 20
Timothy and Paul really, really cared about people and would do whatever was necessary to help them to God.
An UNSELFISH PASSION
"For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus." vs. 21
He had died to his own desires and lived only for what pleased the Master and helped others.
A TENACIOUS LOYALTY
"But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father." vs. 22
Timothy had learned to live and serve under authority. And most importantly, he could always be counted on to finish the job.
The noteworthy thing is—for all their intensity—these are the guys who we're still talking about. These are the men who changed the world.
(copyright Bill Elliff, All Rights Reserved)