A man of proven character

Some people inspire confidence. They show wisdom and character by their attitudes and reactions. They encourage us by their example.

But you know his qualifications, that like a son working with his father, he served with me in advancing the gospel.
Philippians 2.22 NET

Timothy was one of those people for the Philippians. He was the right person to send back to the city. He had been approved in their presence.

The word for “qualifications” here means approved or proven and, in this case, proven worth. It refers probably to his proven character (HCSB, LEB; see also CEB), which might even be a better translation than qualifications of the NET.

Paul doesn’t need to recommend Timothy or convince them to accept him as his emissary, because the Philippians know him.

Paul mentions the father-son relationship, possibly in reference to the ancient practice of the son following the father in his trade or line of work. Timothy has done this with faithfulness “in advancing the gospel.”

Such work is not easy. This service is the same as that of the Lord Jesus (compare the verb “served” with verse 7) — humility, obedience, suffering.

When I was young, some training programs for boys were called “Timothy classes.” Evidently, they sought to produce more Timothys in the church, a most worthy goal.

For we need many more like him. We need to be like Timothy.

This devotional was adapted from today’s Portuguese-language meditation.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?