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Monday, October 29, 2012

The Truth about Timothy

Who was Timothy?  He was the young man Paul took under his wind at the outset of Paul's second missionary journey.  Timothy traveled with or for Paul during the remainder of of that excursion and all during the third.  Take a few minutes and skim Acts 16 - 21 to get a sense of what Timothy experienced during his travels with Paul.  2 Corinthians 6:1 - 10 is a fairly concise overview from Paul's perspective.
Was Timothy a timid retiring pastor?  No.
Now turn to 1 Timothy 1:1 - 14.  In this passage I have heard more than one message where the speaker portrays Timothy as some timid pastor who needs encouragement.


Not on the basis of what he endured and learned from Paul.  One does not emerge from that crucible milquetoast.

That context informs one's perspective on what is going on in 1 Timothy.  Think of it.  Timothy has a great deal of experience under his belt.  It has been a hard slog.  It has been peppered with huge ups and significant downs.  He is a hardened, tested, proved laborer.  He knows Paul's message.  He understands how to engage in areas where the Gospel is not only new but resisted.  Paul writes this exhortation to this man.

What that tells me is that those who are the most engaged, the most tested, the most competent, still require exhortation to press on.  Unfortunately, we tend to leave them alone.  We assume that since they are so strong they do not need our encouragement.  Apparently, Paul and by extension the Holy Spirit, does not agree.