There probably isn’t one of us who can take credit for all that we’ve achieved in life. We’ve all had a teacher, coach, parent, or pastor take time to invest in us, believe in us, and challenge us. Investing in the lives of others is something that was modeled by Jesus, Himself. He called regular guys (mostly fishermen) to follow Him. He then proceeded to teach them about His Father’s Kingdom, train them to minister to others, and send them out to advance God’s Kingdom. If Jesus invested in the lives of others, then we should be eager to do the same.
Timothy was a young pastor whom the Apostle Paul had taken under his wing. Timothy received two letters from Paul (which later became the New Testament books of First and Second Timothy) in which Paul instructed him about how to lead his congregation. Paul noticed that Timothy was a worthy investment, and he spent time with Timothy, teaching him what God had taught him, encouraging him to remain strong in the faith, and not to be afraid. Paul wasn’t just Timothy’s friend, he was his mentor.
But before Paul began investing in Timothy, two other people did. In 2 Timothy 1:5 Paul says, “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.” Timothy’s mother and grandmother didn’t leave Timothy’s spiritual development to chance; they realized that it was their responsibility to train and teach him about God, faith, and truth.
Because of their investment in their son/grandson, Timothy showed potential and enthusiasm toward the things of God, and that caught the Apostle Paul’s attention. We can imagine that if Timothy’s mother and grandmother had not taken the time to invest in him, the Apostle Paul may not have selected him as one of his students.
Each of us can invest in others’ lives on a regular basis; you just have to open your eyes and ears. If you’re a parent, then it’s a full-time job for you to disciple and invest in your children. Is there a single parent at church that could use some downtime while you invest in their son? Is there a new employee at work who needs some pointers? Is there a neighbor kid who needs help learning how to ride their bike? Investing in others can be short term or long term; what matters most is that we’re reaching out and doing it, just like Jesus did.