The Tune-Up of Caring

20  For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.

Philippians 2:20-21

That 1962 Ford Galaxy 500 I have been telling you about was a good-running car.  There was a lot less “stuff” on the car to break, but that didn’t mean I could neglect taking care of the car.  (Did I mention it was maroon?)  I had to change the plugs and points every 15,000 miles or so.  The engines timing had to be checked and reset often.  I had to put in new brake linings and buy new tires.  As long as I cared for the car, it ran like it was designed to run.

When we care for others, it strengthens our relationship with them, and with God.  That’s what Paul was saying about Timothy in Philippians 2.  Paul had no other one around him that would care for the Philippians like Timothy would.  Timothy sought the things of Christ, and not himself.

As we look at this scripture passage, we see two things.

 

  • We need to cultivate a genuine interest in others. Life is not about ourselves, despite how much we try to make it that way. Paul was in a tough situation in Rome. It would have been understandable if he had written and told the Philippians how dire his situation was. He could have asked for them to take up an offering and send it to him quickly. But Paul didn’t do that. Instead, Paul was concerned about them. So he sent Timothy to check on them.

 

Our caring for others doesn’t just stop while we are at church. Perhaps we come across a mother trying to herd children and groceries out of the store and into her car. Maybe she could use a helping hand. Perhaps someone is struggling with grief, and they could use someone to hold their hand and just listen.

 

  • We need to offer sincere encouragement to others. In verse 20, Paul says he doesn’t have anyone else like Timothy, who is a kindred spirit, like-minded. We all have different levels of friendship. There are casual friendships where we know each other’s name, but we really don’t know anything else about them. There are close friendships with those we enjoy being with and share a few more personal things with. Then there are those “same-soul” relationships, which are few in number, if at all. Timothy was not like others, looking after self-interests. Timothy was special, interested in others. He shared in Paul’s concerns. We should be that same way. We need friends like that. Someone who will pick us up when we fall, brush us off, and get us going in the right direction again – encourage us.

 

Our relationship with God is strengthened when we exercise the tune-up of caring. It brings us closer to God because we are not the one who can really help anyone. It is God who heals, consoles, encourages, and lifts His children out of the darkness of humanity. But He needs each of us to be His hands and feet to accomplish that.  And when He uses each of us, we find ourselves a little closer to God than we were before. Our relationship with God becomes deeper and stronger and richer. We need to exercise the tune-up of caring if we want that type of relationship with our heavenly Father.

Next time – the navigational system of Commission.

© 2015 Charles A. Kalkomey

February 15, 2015