When Timothy comes, don’t intimidate him. He is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am. Don’t let anyone treat him with contempt. Send him on his way with your blessing when he returns to me. I expect him to come with the other believers. (NLT)
Those Corinthian Christians were a pretty robust bunch. Paul had to repeatedly remind them of their limitations and not to get carried away with themselves. So, when he decides to send Timothy to them, he has a warning for them.
Timothy was young and inclined to be timid. Faced with these Corinthians, he might be intimidated. Perhaps an early case of workplace bullying! The puffed-up Corinthians could exploit his youth and dismiss his less than forceful personality.
A reminder to us all that we are not to look down on those Christians who do not fit our preconceptions. Not to assume a younger disciple has nothing to offer; not to assume that others must exude the same positive confidence we have about who we are and what we do. We are not to be condescending.
God allows all sorts of people to do his work. If he is pleased to so use them, who are we to dismiss or disregard them? Bullying or contempt do not belong in Christian ministry. Any who serve Jesus are entitled to our respect and are to be handled with care.