The Faithful Manager
1A person should think of us in this way: as servants#Jn 18:36 of Christ and managers#Lk 16:1 of the mysteries of God.#1Co 2:7 2In this regard, it is required that managers be found faithful.#Nm 12:7 3It is of little#Mt 5:19 importance to me that I should be judged#1Co 2:14 by you or by any human court.#4:3 Lit a human day In fact, I don’t even judge myself. 4For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified#Ac 13:39 by this. It is the Lord who judges me. 5So don’t judge#Lk 6:37 anything prematurely, before the Lord comes,#Mk 8:38; 1Pt 5:6 who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.#2Co 10:18
The Apostles’ Example of Humility
6Now, brothers and sisters,#Ac 9:30 I have applied these things to myself and Apollos#Ti 3:13 for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying: “Nothing beyond what is written.” The purpose is that none of you will be arrogant, favoring one person over another. 7For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it? 8You are already full! You are already rich! You have begun to reign as kings without us — and I wish you did reign, so that we could also reign with you! 9For I think God has displayed us, the apostles, in last place, like men condemned to die: We have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people. 10We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ!#1Pt 5:14 We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless; 12we labor, working#2Jn 8 with our own hands.#Ac 18:3 When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13when we are slandered, we respond graciously. Even now, we are like the scum of the earth, like everyone’s garbage.#Is 64:6; Lm 3:45
Paul’s Fatherly Care
14I’m not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my dear children.#1Th 2:11; Phm 1 15For you may have countless instructors in Christ, but you don’t have many fathers. For I became your father#Gl 4:19; Phm 10 in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17This is why I have sent#2Co 9:3; Eph 6:21–22; Col 4:7–8; Phm 12 Timothy to you. He is my dearly loved and faithful#Nm 12:7 child in the Lord. He will remind you about my ways in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere in every church.
18Now some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you soon,#Ac 19:21; 1Co 16:5; 2Co 1:15–16 if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk, but the power of those who are arrogant. 20For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21What do you want? Should I come to you with a rod,#2Co 1:23; 2:1,3; 12:20–21; 13:2,10 or in love and a spirit of gentleness?#Jms 3:13