But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 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. Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me; and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly. But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me. Philippians 2:19-30
In contemplating sending Timothy to the Philippians, Paul was planning to part ways with his right-hand man. But who better than Timothy, “Exhibit A,” to illustrate someone who “had the attitude that was in Christ Jesus?”
This would be a supreme act of generosity on Paul’s part. No doubt it would be tough cutting loose someone who served Paul like a child, who was his “kindred spirit,” and who always tipped the scales in favor of the interests of others.
While he waited to see how things went with him, he was sending back fellow Philippian Epaphroditus, a suitable “Exhibit B,” who risked his life for the gospel.
My questions, after reading this, are sobering. Have I over time allowed myself to be molded by a Paul-type of man? Have I become a Timothy or Epaphroditus to anyone?Have I consistently discipled a man effectively enough for him to become a true extension of myself? But most importantly, am I a compelling enough example of a Christ-follower for anyone to want to follow? Now that one hurt!