Have you ever stopped to think who you identify with more? Do you feel more like a son or daughter, brother or sister or father or mother? Does your life reflect one of someone seeking or found? What about Paul and Timothy- who do you relate to more?
I am in the season of my life that I should answer that I am walking in Paul’s footsteps. You gain it with age, right? Leading and mentoring others naturally follows as you get older.
Paul and Timothy’s relationship and story unfolds in 1 Timothy 1. Paul shares he is under the command of God and calls forth Timothy as his son in true faith. Even though Paul is not physically present with Timothy, he continues to reaffirm Timothy’s calling. Paul comes alongside Timothy as a mentor, follower of Christ and believer in all God is preparing Timothy to do.
The image of coming alongside someone in life has always brought reassurance and strength to me in my own life. It only takes one person to affirm something in your life for you to feel loved and known. Jesus chose us as His son or daughter to know Him and in the process become known by others. Sit with the thought of being known for just a minute.
How does it make you feel?
Last year, I completed Beth Moore’s Bible study, Entrusted. It takes the reader on a journey through 2 Timothy and creates a space to learn what God entrusts us with in our own lives. The study touched deep and left me knowing that sometimes I am more like Paul, leading the way and taking others under my wing. And other times I am very much like Timothy just starting out and trying to find my way.
Either way, my identity is the same. My name is Mary and I am a child of God. Put your name in place of mine and declare it for yourself.
The Father chose me even before I was born. (Jeremiah 1:5) My identity came into being by the blood of Jesus Christ. God calls me beloved and that name is mine as well as yours. We are beloved forever and always as God’s children. We can rest confidently in this truth.
When I hold tight to my identity in Christ, everything else flows out of this. God remains my Father and I belong to Him. So when I answer the question, do I relate to Paul or Timothy, I know that my age does not dictate the answer. I am a both/and woman. Paul and Timothy both describe who I am in different seasons. It is a gift to be a mentor or mentee depending on my life circumstances. I love that who I am does not change. God has already written that part of my story.
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Friends, rest in your God-given identity. Don’t let those around you feed you with words that don’t align with who you are. Choose God and He will aways choose you. If you are in a season that looks like Paul, then lead well. Or if you would benefit from someone to walk alongside you, as Paul did for Timothy, then that is exactly where you should be.
Cherish when someone recognizes your gifts and affirms them for you. Hold onto the hope that comes when you see the fruit of a relationship of someone secure in their identity. Spend time pursuing your legacy of faith as Paul describes in 2 Timothy.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 2 Timothy 1:5
Paul takes a young Timothy and builds into him. Throughout the process, encouragement flows and recognition of who Timothy already is as a man of faith. It is a beautiful reminder to me of how we are all called to be Paul and Timothy to others in our lives.
This week I want you to know that there is no such thing as a perfect Christ follower. Instead, think of your legacy of faith and never stop pursuing Christ.
In pursuit of Christ,
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