When people think of you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
“Paul came also to Derbe and Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy.” -Acts 16:1
In literature, the “principle of first mention” is that whatever is said of a character, place or action when it first appears is a guide and foundation for how to understand whatever follows.
When Timothy is first mentioned in Scripture, he is not introduced by his family association. That comes later. He is not introduced by his trade, school or social status. Even his heritage and nationality are only incidental.
The most important thing about Timothy, the one thing that drives and determines the course of his life, is that he is a disciple. To be a “Christian” is to be a disciple, a follower and imitator of the Way of Jesus, and not just a little bit or in name alone.
To be a disciple means that following Jesus takes first place.
And nothing else matters more.
Ask yourself this: when people think of you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?