Batman and Robin. Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Tarzan and Jane. Rhett and Link. Sidekicks. I like being the sidekick, especially when planning a trip. Remembering details is a specialty. Coming back from just such a trip this weekend, I suddenly read Philippians 2 differently:
“19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.”
Paul, yes, Paul, is bragging on Timothy as his right-hand man. Timothy was going where Paul could not go, and working where he could not work. That is a lot of responsibility and influence! And Paul trusts him completely.
I want people to trust me like that. But I know that my motives are not always selfless. That is something I need to keep learning. So, whose sidekick am I when not planning trips to the beach? It is interesting how we are called God’s ambassadors, the ones who go in His name to different people. It’s almost like we’re sidekicks…
“17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5).
What a message to pass on to people! It’s a great honor, and responsibility. So how will that play out in my life? The focus is not on me, but on the message and how I best communicate it to the people where I am sent. Their culture, their preferences, their communication style. It takes some creativity to keep the message straight and captivate them at the same time. And some practice.
God, thank You for Timothy, and how he was an example of a sidekick for Paul. Thank You for making me an emissary for Your message. Please help me see the power that You offer, and how I can use my creativity to reach out to people who may see the world in a very different way. Amen.