For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. ~Philippians 2:20
You are probably familiar with the phrase “great minds think alike.” It is a complimentary statement that means two or more people think in terms of the same accomplishment or action. Without discussing anything, they are alike in their thought process. Paul was concerned about having the right person represent him at Philippi. The only man who was likeminded to him was Timothy.
We see Timothy, the son.
“But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father….” Timothy was the fruit of Paul’s ministry at Lystra and Derbe. Timothy was saved along with his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice. Timothy was favored by the brethren at Lystra. They gave a good report of his testimony. Most importantly, Timothy was faithful to Paul. Paul mentored him as a father raised his son. When they were at Philippi, the members of the church there saw the close connection between the two. Timothy did things as Paul did. Timothy left no question in anyone’s mind as to his faithfulness to Paul in whatever he did. He was like a son to his father.
We see Timothy, the servant.
“He hath served with me in the gospel.” Timothy had a servant’s heart. He had a servant’s compassion. Paul said that he naturally cared for the church. He didn’t have to be told how to care for them. He initiated acts of love and service. He had a servant’s consistency. He was not unpredictable. He was proactive, personal, and productive. He didn’t just do things: he got things done. He had a servant’s competency. He served with Paul in the gospel. He knew that the bottom line was getting people saved, discipled, involved, and making other disciples.
We see Timothy, the substitute.
“But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.” Paul felt that the only man acceptable to represent him was Timothy. Paul had confidence in Timothy as his substitute. He knew that Timothy would care for the church just as Paul would. Timothy had credibility with Paul as his substitute. There were no questions from anyone at Philippi concerning Timothy coming in Paul’s place. Timothy would not do anything adverse to affect this credibility. Timothy was, hands down, the most excellent choice to represent Paul.
We see Timothy, the successor.
Years later, Timothy succeeded Paul as the pastor of the church at Ephesus. The same criteria was used to recommend the church in calling Timothy. Paul and Timothy were likeminded in their priority: both sought to glorify the Lord in winning souls to Christ and making disciples. Both were likeminded regarding people: both cared deeply for the people they served. They served people devotedly, and they served them diligently. Both were likeminded in their product. They sought to reproduce servants of God who would repeat the same process.
Thinking alike is critical to the success of a ministry. It is essential for the direction of a ministry. It is essential for the depth of the ministry. It is essential for the durability of a ministry. Make it your priority to be likeminded in ministry with those who are your leaders and mentors.
Have a Christ-minded God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Kings 1-3