Open Your Bible

Acts 16:1-5, 2 Timothy 1:1-5, 1 Corinthians 4:17, Philippians 2:19-24, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-6, Psalm 133:1-3

Around the age of eighteen, I remember praying for a mentor. I had no idea where to look for one, so soliciting God’s help felt like the right thing to do. Fast forward a few years, and I still hadn’t found one—at least not the formal, “let’s grab coffee every week and come with questions prepared” kind of relationship.

A few weeks after visiting a new church, a lady who always gave out hugs and smelled like flower blossoms befriended me. She led the women’s ministry and loved hosting people around her dining table for prayer, Bible study, and honest conversations about wrestling through everyday life. Often, I would linger after everyone else went home, as we kept talking or laughing or drinking tea. There was nothing weird or formal about it—just normal time spent with someone who was genuinely interested in my life and relationship with Jesus.

We all need mutually life-giving spiritual friendships, and the apostle Paul was no exception. One reason why Paul hand-picked Timothy to be his companion was because of his top-notch reputation in the community. The young man was also a third-generation believer, resulting from a lineage of not one but two God-fearing female figures—a mother and grandmother (2Timothy 1:5). Having a mother who was Jewish positioned him well for ministry in a multicultural region of both Jews and Gentiles.

I’m sure the legacy of Timothy’s faith was an advantage to being chosen as a companion, but it wasn’t enough simply for him to be familiar with Scripture (2Timothy 3:15); he needed to own his faith for himself. Later on in their partnership, Paul saw firsthand how the man had been personally transformed, and said, “I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and now, I am convinced, is in you also” (2Timothy 1:5).

For being just one man, his influence on Christianity and the canon of Scripture is pretty astounding. Being so interconnected to Paul’s ministry, Timothy either co-wrote or co-labored with his friend during the experiences captured within Paul’s letters. Ultimately, it was Timothy’s proven, trustworthy character and unmatched integrity that led Paul to trust him enough to lead and teach in his place (Philippians 2:22). They supported and helped each other grow, just as they did for the Church. This is why Paul referred to him as his “dearly loved and faithful child in the Lord” (1Corinthians 4:17).

Timothy is a vibrant example of what it looks like to be mentored in the faith. The companionship we see modeled by these two men inspires us to seek out our own fellow sojourners in the faith, and in turn ask ourselves, Who am I investing in spiritually? Who am I allowing myself to be mentored by? How might God use my relationships for the flourishing of His Church? Spiritual mentorships don’t have to be rigid or classified as anything formal. They just have to draw us closer to Jesus and to one other.

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37 thoughts on "Timothy"

  1. Rebecca Walker says:

    I am a psychotherapist and see a full load of clients week after week. Because of my work (which I love and God has blessed) I am pouring out a good bit regularly. I have learned to take time for myself, self care, etc, but a spiritual mentor is a place that is lacking. I’ve been through a lot and always feel like I end up counseling others rather than the other way around. I don’t say that like I have it all together-quite the contrary. But I need godly wisdom that can only come from a life well-lived with plenty of peaks and valleys to give perspective. So this is me putting it out there into the prayer ethos. Lord, you know what I need before I speak it. Send me a mentor. Someone to speak deep truths and to remind me of your Son and who I am as a daughter.

  2. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I had such a great mother’s group at my church where we had a mentor mother. Unfortunately, with Covid that ended back in March. I hope and pray that the mothers group will start up again.

  3. Erica says:

    I am so thankful for this online community. It encourages my spirit to hear all of your words. This life is filled with longing for perfection. We must remember that although there will never be perfection on this side of heaven, Jesus came to fulfill the law and He is making ALL THINGS NEW! Yes, our desire to see it in OUR “now” time needs to turn into a heart that is content to wait. That is why I cling to the book of Hebrews. It is all about waiting… and we can read the lives of the imperfect hero’s of the Bible to remind ourselves that it will be WORTH THE WAIT!!

  4. Dorothy says:

    Tina, I too come from a long line of believers. I too feel the SRT women are also my mentors.
    Churchmouse, your words once again bring me so much closer to God.
    BestIsYettoCome, I have found in over forty years of nursing that when one door closes a better one open. I also have that God will provide and He does what He does for a reason. My problem was being patient and waiting. Just remember to ask God He will give you the answers. I will be praying for you.
    Jenny Love , you have given me something to think about.
    Angie, your words are words of wisdom and truth. Thank you for always sharing knowledge of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.
    Tricia Cavanaugh, praying for you.

  5. Tricia Cavanaugh says:

    I’ve longed for a close spiritual friend- someone to walk with me , to help me through spiritual needs. Does that make sense? I haven’t really found that. I’m 52. Meanwhile, I continue to pray for a mentor/Christian friend to walk with me in this spiritual journey. Ever grateful for my Heavenly Father and all that He does for me.