“Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:1).
Despite their shortcomings, people of kindred spirit are precious gifts from the Lord.
Timothy was Paul’s trusted companion in the gospel. In Philippians 2:20 Paul describes him as a man “of kindred spirit.” That is, they were likeminded, sharing the same love for Christ and His church.
Elsewhere Paul described Timothy as his beloved and faithful child in the Lord (1 Cor. 4:17) and fellow worker in the gospel of Christ (Rom. 16:21; 1 Thess. 3:2). Those are significant compliments coming from Paul, whose standard of ministry and personal integrity was very high.
However, as godly and useful as Timothy was, he apparently struggled with many of the same weaknesses we face. For example, 2 Timothy implies he might have been intimidated by the false teachers who challenged his leadership (1:7). He perhaps was somewhat ashamed of Christ (1:8) and tempted to alter his theology to avoid offending those who disagreed with sound doctrine (1:13- 14). He might have been neglecting his studies in the Word (2:15) and succumbing to ungodly opinions (2:16-17). Other struggles are implied as well.
Paul wrote to strengthen Timothy’s spiritual character and encourage him to persevere in the face of severe trials.
Despite those apparent weaknesses, Paul valued Timothy highly and entrusted enormous ministerial responsibilities to him. In addition, Timothy’s friendship and ministry was a source of great joy and strength to Paul.
I pray that you have people of kindred spirit in your life—brothers and sisters in Christ who encourage you, pray for you, and hold you accountable to God’s truth. Like Timothy, they may not be all you want them to be, but they are precious gifts from God. Esteem them highly and pray for them often. Do everything you can to reciprocate their ministry in your life.
If perhaps you lack such friends, seek the fellowship of a local church where Christ is exalted, His Word is taught, and holy living is encouraged. Build relationships with mature Christians who will stimulate you to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24).
Suggestions for Prayer
Identify three people who are of kindred spirit with you. Pray for them and tell them how much you appreciate their examples and ministries.
For Further Study
Read 2 Timothy 1:1-14.
- What were Paul’s admonitions to Timothy?
- How might they apply to you?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthu