When Pauletta Edifies Timothia
As Scripture relays in the New Testament, Paul and Timothy had a unique friendship, one that involved much mentoring from Paul to Timothy. Indubitably, Paul exercised spiritual authority over Timothy and at times, was dissatisfied with Timothy’s complacency in Christ. He was concerned that Timothy could be weakening spiritually.
Rather than pleasing people, Paul chose to please God. In doing so, Paul confronts Timothy spiritually and encourages him. In Timothy 1:6, Paul tells Timothy to “kindle afresh the gift of God” that’s in Him. This means to persevere as the vessel God created him to be.
No doubt, my Paul (Mrs. Rhonda) does the same for me. Last August and September is particularly telling of Mrs. Rhonda’s obedience to our Father in lavishing me with both love and discipline. I surrendered last summer and welcomed Satan’s craft. All too quickly, I absorbed his lies and believed much of what he whispered:
- Life is simply a disappointment.
- God doesn’t love me.
- God has abandoned me.
Yet in my outlandish inward rebellion, God listened and unconditionally loved. Furthermore, He prompted the hearts of others to love me as He does, along with speaking Biblical truth into sinful me. A couple of times Mrs. Rhonda deemed it best to abruptly flee from her delicate schedule and drive to my home. There she would embrace me and reassure me that she loved me. Amidst my sorrowful tears she would pray over me, sharing Scripture always. She then challenged me to memorize Psalm 46 and followed up on this. “God is our Refuge and Strength. A very present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear…'” Despite my distortion of truth, she pointed out my self-focus, my wrong thinking and shared specific verses to combat my sin (i.e. put off/ put on strategy).
“Why,” you may be pondering, “that certainly must have been hurtful.” Yes, it was, but iron sharpens iron. And, prepare yourself…. it is Biblical. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 reveals the responsibility of the Lord’s bond-servants. It reads, “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”
Digest that slowly.
Scripture informs us that friendship is not about making others feel better. Instead, friendship is about helping others conform to the image of Christ and magnify His name. Truly, I am humbled by Mrs. Rhonda’s persistency as He used her to help kindle afresh my pursuit in knowing Him and in being the vessel He intends for me to be.
Thanks be to God for Paul modeling mentoring to Timothy (and others) in how to finish faithful and fruitful.
In this photo, I am a junior in college, working in Mrs. Rhonda’s home, coming alongside to homeschool while learning how to train to the heart and invest in the character of the kids, which I would later have the opportunity to do as an elementary school teacher.
In what ways have you experienced God’s gift of friendship/ mentorship?
Now is the time to comment below. Truly, we want to learn from each other. Lay it on us.