I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
More About Philippians 2:19-24
Written by Katy McCown (First 5 Ministries)
In a letter Paul wrote to Timothy he exhorted his son in the faith to share in hardships and suffering as a good soldier of Christ. He then reminded him, “No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” (2 Timothy 2:4).
Other translations describe civilian pursuits as”the [ordinary business] affairs of civilian life,” (AMP) “worldly affairs” (TLB) or “the affairs of everyday life” (NASB).
The Gospel of Mark records a parable in which Jesus describes the cares of this world as thorns that choke out the Word and make it unfruitful. (Mark 4:19) The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) When we find that we are producing actions and emotions that are the opposite of these qualities, we could be entangled in civilian pursuits.
Civilian affairs seem to contrast the difference between everyday life and eternal life. To seek what matters most to Jesus is to seek the business of eternity. While we live on earth we will encounter the business of everyday life, but in the midst of that we can remain in Christ and produce abundant fruit. (John 15:5)
Prayer: Dear God, when I ponder Your choice to give up so much for my sake, I’m humbled and so aware of how far short I fall in following Your example. I want to seek Your interests more than my own. By the power of Your Spirit at work within me, help me love You and others more. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Journal Prompt: Can you think of other biblical examples Jesus gave us that show what matters most to Him? How can you apply one of these in your life today?