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Humility makes us aware of our own weakness and failures, pride, arrogance and a critical spirit sadly makes us aware of the failings of others! To both the humble Timothy as well as the proud other Timothy had his failings, all too apparent. He has been well labelled 'Timid Timothy' in need of encouragement in 2 Timothy 1:6 to "stir up the gift" and to "hold fast" (2 Timothy 1:13). Paul was anxious that the Corinthians should go gentle on him and not have him in "fear"!
Whilst for some Timothy may have seemed an unlikely choice to represent Paul, or to become an apostolic legate, trouble shooting the problems at Ephesus, Timothy's weakness was in fact his strength! There was no way Timothy could achieve anything at Ephesus in his own strength and he knew this only too well! He had no sense of self importance, and no ego to trip over. It would have been way to easy at Ephesus to light the blue touch paper in the powder keg of a problematic church. The task of reconciliation, mediation and ministry was in safe hands with the mild mannered Timothy.
Timothy was a man prepared for the task at hand, not only in personal character but with his own personal history. Saved against a background of a mixed marriage between a Jewish mother and Greek father (Acts 16:1); Timothy had a foot in both camps. Discipled by Paul, his "own son in the faith" (1 Timothy 1:2), young Timothy had the best of mentors. Through the book of Acts Timothy may well have seemed unobtrusive and almost unnoticed, an anchor man in the missionary endeavours of the apostle Paul at Corinth, Ephesus and Philippi, but those silent months were months of quite preparation for a future rich and productive ministry when conditions turned sour and the challenges came. Timothy knew the Christians and was present at the foundation of these churches. Timothy was God's man for the moment.
A bible teaching message from our systematic study series in 1 Timothy