Jump Start # 3388
Philippians 2:20 “For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.”
There is no one else. What a sad statement that is. Paul was sending Timothy. The young Timothy had a kindred spirit. Timothy would genuinely be concerned. Timothy would make a difference. The apostle was sending Timothy because there was no one else like him.
There are several thoughts that rush through my mind when I see that statement:
First, of all the brethren, there was NO ONE ELSE. Why? It may be that others like Apollos were busy in other places preaching. Titus. Silas. Mark. Tychicus. Luke. Prisca and Aquila. Epaphroditus. Sosthenes. Epaphras. These names are connected to Paul. But “no one else” had the spirit like Timothy?
Because of distance, travel and the need of the moment, it is not fair to say that only Timothy cared. How many were praying from different places? How many thought deeply about the Philippians?
It is easy for us to do the same within a congregation. Sick and in the hospital and only one comes by. Easy to assume that just that one person is the only one that cared. Some will go so far as to say “No preacher came,” or “No elder came.” And, from that we get worked up, steamed up and conclude that no one cares. Some will go so far as broadcasting that. Only one person came. Only one person cares. Be careful with that. Could it be that others were busy doing other things in the kingdom such as teaching, studying with some, helping others that you did not know about? How many were praying for you?
Only Timothy cares. Read deeper into Philippians and you’ll see that Epaphroditus was “longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick” (2:26). At the close of the letter Paul writes, “The brethren who are with me greet you” (4:21). That doesn’t sound like only Timothy cared.
Second, there comes a time when we must step up and do things because others cannot. Where’s Apollos? Likely in Corinth, trying to help the brethren there. Why not send someone else? Maybe no one else can go. Timothy could. Timothy would. Don’t wait for others. Don’t complain because no one else will or can. If you are in the spot to go, then go. But don’t be thinking less of others because they didn’t go.
Third, it is a blessing to find those who have a kindred spirit. The CSB uses the expression, “like-minded.” We think alike. We are similar in how we see things. Was that luck? Was that a rare coincidence? Likely, it came from being transformed by the Gospels. When one comes to Christ, their thinking changes. God-pleasing takes a high place on the list of things. Values. Definitions. Priorities. Motivations. Everything changes from the inside out. I know several who I could say are kindred spirits of mine. That kindred spirit is about spiritual things. It’s not liking the same baseball team, same foods, same tastes in movies, same attitudes about the weather. Those things really do not matter. It’s being of the same mind, a kindred spirit, spiritually.
Other places in the N.T. will find expressions like “one mind,” or, “one voice,” or, “same mind,” or, “intent on one purpose.” In marriage, the two become one. We don’t look the same. We don’t always like the same foods. But when it comes to one purpose, one goal, one intent, one heart, we are one.
Genuinely concerned, that’s what Timothy was. He went because he cared. We’ll do the same. We’ll pick up the phone and make a call. We’ll send a text. We’ll drop by with some food. We’ll ask the deep questions such as, “How are you doing with the medical bills?” We ask that with the intention of writing a check to help them out. We’ll sit and let the other person talk and talk and talk. We do that because we care.
Care that is not genuine is fake. It’s artificial. It’s a front. It’s shallow and empty. It won’t go out of the way. It won’t make any meaningful changes.
Paul was sending Timothy because he cared. He really cared. Do you think if you were there that Paul would have looked your way and said, “Will you go?” Do you show a kindred spirit that cares?
Timothy—he went because he could make a difference. We must do the same.