Paul called him a true son. Timothy was accustomed to hearing his spiritual father’s words of affirmation, instruction, as well as correction. True sons receive such from their trusted spiritual fathers.
“To Timothy, my true child in the faith; grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. [1 Timothy 1:2] What a greeting! I would definitely want to read on, to see what my spiritual father had to say to me.
Time and energy are required in raising up true sons and daughters in the faith. Spiritual children will ultimately find themselves resting securely in this love shown to them because of trust. This trust will withstand time and distance. Spiritual parents become acquainted with the potential of the spiritual son or daughter, and they experience great joy in promoting them into their destiny. Jealousies and competitions are rare when they grow in proven character.
Solomon and Absalom contrast one another. Solomon was patient in waiting to be promoted to position–trusting that his time would come when it was right. Absalom demanded his post prematurely and pursued it at all costs, even to his death. David, as a parent, most likely desired both of his sons to be raised to maturity and destiny. However, time and testing proved the character of each of these sons.
What makes one son satisfied in waiting–and one not? Simply look at their heart responses to the trials and testings. The hearts of sons and daughters are being stirred to respond with tried-and-tested loyalty. Bob Sorge, in his book LOYALTY, defines the word as: “a noble, unswerving allegiance, rooted in faith and love, that binds hearts together in common purpose.” [pg 15]
“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” [Malachi 4:5-6]