Lessons from the Life of Timothy


Timothy had his struggles with fear and discouragement, but he stayed faithful to the end.  There are many lessons we can learn from in Timothy’s life.

  1. He had a servant’s heart (Acts 19:22). He was willing to serve instead of being served. Church leaders today know they are to be servants, but some expect the people in their church to serve them instead. How would you rate yourself as a servant?  How would your wife and children rate you?  How does God rate you?  What can you do to become a servant like Jesus? Ask Jesus every day to help you be a servant like Him.
  2. He was available (Acts 20:4). When Paul needed Timothy to come help him, he did. When he needed someone to go take care of a problem in one of the churches, he went.  He was available to go where needed and do whatever helped Paul and the church.  He wasn’t trying to advance himself or grow a bigger church.  He was available to serve in whatever way he was needed.  God can use a man like that in a great way!  Are you available for God to use you, or do you have your own ideas about what you want to accomplish?  Do you ask God to show you what He wants you to do or do you tell Him what you want Him to do so you can achieve your goals?
  3. He was teachable (2 Timothy 3:10-11). He wanted to learn all he could from Paul. He was open to correction when needed.  He didn’t think he knew it all or was always right.  How do you respond when someone corrects you?  How do you react when you are wrong?  How willing are you to learn from others?
  4. He genuinely cared for others (Philippians 2:19-20). When Paul sent Timothy to the church at Philippi he said about Timothy: “I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare” (Philippians 1:19-20). “Genuine” means he was sincere and sensitive.  He really cared about others.  Do you really care about the people God has given you to influence, or do you get impatient and annoyed with them?  Do you think about what they should do for you, or what you can do for them?  Timothy really cared about people, even the ones who were critical of him.
  5. He was faithful (1 Corinthians 4:17) Timothy had a reputation for being faithful in all he did, and Paul recognized that in him. Timothy didn’t just know the truth of God’s Word, he put it into practice in his own life.  Do you always practice what you preach?  Are there areas in your life where you know improvement must be made?  Do you preach and teach things your listeners should do or not do, but don’t carry them out in your own life?
  6. He trained others (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Thessalonians 3:2). Timothy patterned his life after Paul, and he trained others to pattern their lives after his. He passed on what he knew and discipled others.  He mentored church leaders.  Who are you mentoring?  Whose life are you building in to so they follow Jesus as you also follow Him?
  7. He learned to overcome his fear (2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:6-7, 13) Timothy struggled with fear of people, fear of criticism and rejection, fear of failure and probably other fears as well. Paul encouraged him to face his fears instead of running from them and he did.  He learned to gain victory over them.  What are your greatest fears in life?  How do they impact your ministry?  What are you doing to get victory over them?  Here are some promises to help you overcome fear: Proverbs 3:25; Isaiah 14:3; Psalm 34:4; Joshua 1:9; 10:8;23:9-11; Leviticus 26:8; Exodus 14:13; 1 Samuel 17:45-47; 2 Samuel 22:33-35,40-41; Philippians 4:6-7; 4:13; 2 Timothy 1:7; Proverbs 3:25; Isaiah 14:3; Psalm 34:4; Joshua 1:9; 10:8; 23:9-11; Leviticus 26:8; Exodus 14:13.

Timothy spent his whole ministry traveling from one problem situation to another.  He represented Paul and faithfully served as Paul would have.  There was nothing outstanding or dramatic about his service, as there was with Paul.  But what he did was very necessary.  What God has you doing is just as necessary.  Serve as faithfully as Timothy did.



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