The "Real Thing"
The Message version says "Timothy's the real thing." In these verses Paul describes what the "real thing" looks like: a person who is devoted to the "things of Jesus" and who is devoted to delivering the Good News. The "real thing" is a person who is "loyal, and genuinely concerned for you." [Message].
This description of Timothy is vivid as an example of the first verses of this chapter. Paul describes what a Christ follower is like generally: A Christ follower seeks the good of others in love instead of proudly putting oneself first.
Why be so humble? Paul suggests in this writing that we are a community, that is, we have something "in common" that we share within a circle of connections. Our differences are so minor while our common needs and circumstances are so similar and major. In effect, Paul is saying each of us is precious before God, and we should be seen by one another as having great value and dignity, whatever our life station.
So the question is: Are we the "real thing?" Paul points out that the test is: are we showing up with an attitude of humble service and genuine care for others?
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