“Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:” (Philippians 1:1, ESV)
Paul and Timothy! Timothy and Paul! They go together. They work together. They are partners in the gospel.
Paul is the mentor. Timothy is the protègè. It is Paul that was likely responsible for the content of Philippians. But there would not be a Book of Philippians without Timothy.
Paul wrote this letter from prison in Rome. He would have spent his day chained to a Roman soldier. But Timothy was there to record the words on behalf of Paul. Paul would dictate and Timothy would write. There is no doubt that Timothy helped to edit the letter with Paul.
Paul was the mentor but he could not have written Philippians without Timothy. Timothy was the man he was because of Paul. Paul meant so much to Timothy there was little that Timothy would not do for Paul. Paul would share how Timothy was like a son who had proven his worth as he served the gospel (see Philippians 2:2). When everyone else had abandoned Paul, Timothy was still there.
Paul was widely recognized for his accomplishments. He had suffered much but God had worked mightily through him. Now Paul was at a point in his life where he was in need. And now his protègè was there to aid.
There are some of us who are eager to serve as Timothy. We look to help others. We are eagar to do so. It makes us feel good to be able to serve.
But when our time to be Paul comes, we are not always enthusiastic. We resist being perceived as in need. Our pride fears that others will pity us.
One thing I often encounter in the church is that we are prideful people. We have a hard time admitting our need. We have a hard time receiving help and aid from others. Our identity is tied up in being self-sufficient.
The problem this causes is that we rob others of their opportunity to serve. Think about your own eagerness to serve others. People want to help and we take their ability to do so when we resist asking for help.
The second problem is that we continue to suffer because we fail to get the help that we need. Life would be so much easier if we got more comfortable leaning on one another.
We are better together. One of the best things we can do is to let go of our “I don’t need anyone attitude.” The American ideal is to be self-made. But the hard truth is that no one is self-made. We are fearfully and wonderfully made by our loving creator who designed us to be dependent upon one another.
One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself is to ask for help. Who will you ask for help today? Who will you give the opportunity to serve?