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. 20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. 22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. 23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. (KJV, Phil. 2:19–24)
Just as in Paul’s time, today we have a large number of would-be spiritual leaders who should be rejected as unworthy guides to God and eternity. Though some are unorthodox and easy to spot, many are orthodox but possess subtler problems of character that ought to be just as disqualifying. In Phillippians 2 Paul references problems of practice and character that should remove someone from spiritual leadership. A quick look at five thoughts the Holy Spirit gives us in this passage will help clarify whom we should accept for spiritual oversight,1 and whom we should not.
1. Likemindedness (Phil. 2:20)
“Likeminded” (or like-souled: ισοψυχος, isopsuchos) is a new word to Paul’s readers, never before appearing in his writings and not to appear again in Scripture. It’s a word of comparison, and a word of creation. Though the KJV uses the word “mind,” the second half of the word is actually “soul.” Since God knows the difference, it will be helpful to remember.