1 TIMOTHY 1:2
“To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy andpeace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When I hear that expression, “Dear Child,” I can’t help but think of how we use that in the South. One may say it and shake their head, as if to say, “I just don’t know about that child.” Or it could be used as you hold a child affectionately in your arms and whisper, “Dear Child.” I prefer the latter, and that is exactly the intent of Paul here when he uses the word “true.”
He is the only writer in the New Testament to use this Greek word and only four times. Twice he uses it to refer to groups of people (Corinthians and Philippians). The other two times it is calling a person true. We see it here as he addresses Timothy, and then we see it again in Titus 1:4 as he calls Titus the same thing. It was a special, affectionate relationship.
I am sure I don’t have to guess how you feel about your children. You would call them dear, for sure. But Paul wasn’t talking to his natural children. He was talking to others he had invested in. He, through their time together, considered them true children or true friends. Your children are going to need some true friends as they navigate this life.
How do you make true friends? By being one yourself. There are a few people in my life right now whom I would call true friends. I could honestly look at them and say, “Dear child.” I have poured into them. I have invested in them, and they in me. Model that for your children. Show them what it looks like to have true friends. Show them by your behavior what it means to BE a true friend.
Dear child of God, do you hear this message today. God has made you His child when you surrender to His Son. Now, He wants you to share that with someone else. Ask Him who He wants you to invest in. He will show you exactly who that is. Why? Because as you invest in others, you are growing and becoming more like His Son, Jesus.
I want to show others the intimacy they can have in Christ. Help me to invest the time and energy necessary to make others “true children.”