When I read the bible I see three key relationships vital to our Christian growth that we should all pursue.
We all need a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy to be part of our lives.
1. Paul (an older, more mature believer)
I think most people would see the importance of this, yet, in my opinion, we don’t pursue these kinds of personal relationships enough. These are the men and women who have been down the road of life for some distance. They have experience, great knowledge and a ton to give. We need to sit at their feet and ask them our questions and share our personal trials and our private dreams. If we do, their wisdom and advice will be incredibly helpful. As a result, we will have help framing things correctly and choosing the right paths.
2. Barnabas (close to our age, a friend and peer)
This is not just a friend, but a friend who loves us and loves Jesus. These are people who love and know Jesus and who love and know us. Barnabas was called the son of encouragement. When we hang with friends who care about us and have Jesus at the center of their lives, we will find ourselves not only having fun because of similar likes, but also being ministered to by someone who knows us well and will care about us and believe in us even when we make mistakes. We all need a Barnabas and we all need to be a Barnabas for someone.
3. Timothy (a younger person who we are investing in)
We need to be givers and not just takers. I am already at the age where I can reach out to Timothys and, as a result, I have found the great joy that comes from investing in younger people. They are hungry, they want God, they are willing to work and believe God can do it. If we will give to them and invest in them, we will be part of God’s process to build them up and release them to the awesome miracles He wants to accomplish for their lives. To give to younger people this way is energizing to us older believers and it will one day be one of the most valued things we have done in our lifetimes.
When each of us has a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy, we are fulfilling part of God’s plan for the believers’ personal growth. Relationships that help us to become more like Him and relationships where we can encourage others to be like Him.
Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back -given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. (The Message)
Grace and Truth,