Paul made a stunning declaration in his letter to the Philippians: "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon. . . I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 2:19-20 emphasis added).
What is so remarkable about that statement? Consider all the men with whom Paul was associated--Luke, Barnabas, Silas, Titus and others. Yet he said Timothy was the only one who was able to put self interest aside to embrace the interest of others.
So if Paul only saw or had one Timothy, how many will you and I ever hope to work with? Years ago, however, I concluded that this really wasn't the right question or issue. The issue was whether I could become someone like Timothy in the lives of others.
When I first set a goal to be a Timothy, it was a selfish wish. I wanted to be connected to a "somebody" like Paul who could promote me and make me important through his importance. Today I want to be a Timothy that is able to put my own interests aside in service to others. If I was going to do this, I further realized that I would have to die to my own interests. They could not exist side-by-side with the interests of others whom I was serving.
Servant leadership requires that we pursue the same end that Timothy seemed to attain: serving the highest priority needs of others. May God grant you (and me) the ability to die to our interests so that we may have a genuine interest in the needs of others.