What Matters Most to You?
Written by Katy McCown (First 5 Ministries)
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
I walked up and down the aisle with a decision to make. Finally, I asked my husband’s mom, “What scent did you use?”
As a newlywed stocking my home with cleaning supplies, I wanted to choose the scent that my husband had grown up smelling. In everything I did, I thought of him… even when picking the scent of all-purpose cleaner!
The handful of verses in today’s reading can seem simply transitional at first, but a closer look reveals how Paul used Timothy as an example of someone who lived like Jesus (Philippians 2:1-4; Philippians 2:21) and did what Paul challenged the Christians in Philippi to do in Chapter 1: live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27; 2:19-20)
Scholars describe Timothy’s journey to Philippi as “arduous,” yet his genuine concern for the Christians in Philippi and his commitment to strive with Paul for the sake of the gospel, compelled Timothy to make the trip. (Philippians 2:20)
Verse 21 contrasts Timothy’s proven character with that of those who, despite professing to follow Jesus, were more interested in themselves.
Let’s spend some time considering what matters most to Jesus.
Instead of seeking His physical comfort, Jesus sought the interests of others. (John 4:4-38) Before Jesus engaged the Samaritan woman at the well, in a life-changing conversation, the Bible notes that He was tired and it was about noon or lunchtime. (John 4:6) Yet Jesus didn’t prioritize His physical needs above the eternal needs of a woman who needed a Savior.
Instead of seeking approval from men, Jesus sought to show love to a sinner. (Luke 19:1-10) Jesus not only acknowledged a tax collector named Zacchaeus, He stayed at his house. (Luke 19:5) The crowds didn’t like it, but their opinion of Him didn’t keep Jesus from reaching out to someone who it seems no one else would.
Instead of holding on to His rightful privileges and position, Jesus sought to bring salvation to the world. (Matthew 26:38-39; Philippians 2:6-8) To try to grasp all that Jesus left in order to be with us is unfathomable. From a perfect heaven, to a fallen earth, Jesus made Himself of no reputation to die on a cross and give us the right to become co-heirs with Him.
Instead of physical needs, approval from men and even His rightful privileges and position, Jesus sought the will of His Father. (John 6:38) When I consider the things that mattered most to Jesus, I’m confronted with how often I seek my own interests instead of Christ.
To be genuinely concerned for others, we have to be less concerned about ourselves. Timothy’s example challenges me to surrender all of myself to Christ. To seek His interests by loving and serving others, even when it requires sacrificing my own interests, because that is how Jesus served and loved us.