Thanks for joining me for our Friday devotion! Today we’re looking at Philippians 2:19:
Philippians 2:19: But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
Paul is writing this letter to the Philippians from prison. He was living in a day when communication was drastically different. Paul had no cell phone. He had no access to email or social media. There was no post office to deliver a package or letter. The only way Paul could find out how the Philippians were doing was by sending a messenger. So Paul sent Timothy to Philippi to see how the church was faring.
Paul was anticipating a good report even though he had not personally checked on the Philippians in some time. The New International Version says is like this:
“…that I may be cheered when I hear your state.”
He expects to rejoice when he hears about their condition. Obviously, a negative report would not have brought him joy. So it’s clear he was anticipating hearing good things from Timothy about the Philippians.
Some people are just the opposite. They always anticipate bad news and come to expect the worst in people and in situations. Some people I know would have written the message like this:
“I’m sending Timothy to you. I expect he’ll bring back a disappointing report. I’m sure things are falling apart in Philippi. “
People like that are draining. They sap your faith and energy. Furthermore, no one wants to hang around those kind of people.
We don’t want to be naïve nor turn a blind eye to real issues, but we can choose to keep a positive outlook. Choose to look for the best in people. Choose to anticipate the best in situations because we tend to get what we expect over time.
We tend to get what we expect over time.
The Philippians were not perfect. They had a lot of growing up to do. They were still somewhat young in their faith. Paul was not blind to the fact that the Philippians had plenty of maturing to do. Yet he still was expecting to hear a report that would bring him joy.
Great leaders make a conscious choice to focus on the good. Paul could have focused on what was wrong with the Philippians. He could have been fixated on all that still needed improvement. But he chose to focus on what was right with the Philippians. Great leaders have that quality.
Warding off Discouragement
Paul’s positive attitude inoculated him against discouragement. A key to joy is keeping a positive attitude and staying focused on the good. Our enemy tries to get us so focused on what is wrong in our lives that we fail to see what’s right in our lives.
How’s your outlook? What are you focused on? What do you see in people and in situations? A key to effective leadership and personal joy is keeping the right attitude.