Read Philippians 2:19-24 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.
Yesterday we got a glimpse of conflict in the Philippian church. Today we’re jumping back a few verses to see who Paul pointed to as living examples in conflict. One of them was Timothy, a close friend and protégé of Paul. They traveled together, preached together, and did a lot of life together. Paul distinguished Timothy as different from those who cared only about themselves. In describing Timothy, he pointed out two things: (1) Timothy genuinely cared about the welfare of others; (2) Timothy cared about what mattered to God.
These same things are what we’re called to today. Conflict always reveals our character and creates opportunity. When we genuinely care about others, putting them before ourselves – and when we care about what matters to God, humbly and faithfully seeking after Him – our approach to conflict will be completely different. Instead of saying, “I’m right and they’re wrong,” we’ll ask, “How can I grow in this?” When we put down our pride and care about what really matters, we open the door to reflect the grace and truth of Jesus to others.
• Care about what matters. Reflect on a conflict you’ve recently been in or are currently in, perhaps the same one that came to mind in yesterday’s reading. Ask yourself the following question: “What matters to Christ in this?” Not what matters to you, how you were wronged, or what you deserve. What matters most in this specific conflict to Jesus? How does He want to shape your character or help you genuinely seek the welfare of others? Pray through these questions as you move into response.
Use your Philippians Guidebook to reflect and respond. For a digital copy of the guidebook, visit tpcc.org/rebels-guide.
Want to go deeper? Look up the following verses to see what Paul wrote to Timothy in a separate letter. What do his words reveal about Timothy’s character versus the character of people who created conflict in Paul’s life? Note what you observe and then continue with your time of response.
• 2 Timothy 1:2-4
• 2 Timothy 4:9-17