Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers’ in
speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
Timothy was a young pastor of the Church at Ephesus. Paul writes to him encouraging to be strong in his leadership in the church.
Timothy seemed to be younger than most people of his times who were serving in the ministry. It is easy for anyone to look down at a young pastor and find faults with him but Paul encourages saying, even though you are young, do not let anyone look down at you…but set an example that even older people will see and follow.
There are five areas in which we have to set an example. This is applicable everyone; for the believers and ones serving in the ministry.
We have to watch the way we talk. People can assess our character and attitude based on words we speak. When we speak we have to make sure we sound thoughtful, considerate of other people, ethical, and honest. We have to be very calculative of the words we speak. Sometimes being calculative might seem extreme because we like to talk our minds. We can talk our minds to people but if they don’t understand the way we see it then we are in trouble. We will fail to be an example. There are times when you have to talk in a formal and sometimes in a casual tone. Use whenever it is appropriate. But never mix both together otherwise, you can be easily misunderstood.
Set an example in your speech
Watch the way you carry yourself. People can assess based on the way you conduct yourself. Your body language, posture, gestures, facial expressions can make all the difference when you talk to people. There are times when you have to maintain a very formal way of conduct and sometimes casual. It is always better to keep a good amount of distance when talking to a person of the opposite gender. Even when you walk, show yourself humble. Your conduct is best seen when you talk to a street vendor or someone who is not financially sound. Your actions speak more than words. Keep a watch over them as you conduct yourself among people.
Set an example in your conduct
The scripture says, in 1 John 4:8, God is love… and we as followers of Him, we should show love for one another.
When we conduct ourselves. It is necessary to do it out of love. Without love, all our actions will be void and meaningless. When someone talks against us…such people need to be shown, extra love. When we do, we will set an example for love to the people around us.
As people in the ministry, we have set an example for living the life of faith. People who did great things for the Lord were always the heroes of faith. They were the ones who believed that nothing was impossible for God. God can perform miracles and can even bring the dead back to life.
Many times we have to display our life of faith for people to see so that they can learn and be inspired.
The last thing that Paul encourages to set an example is in Purity. One word that is quite synonymous with Purity is Holiness and it is the word that should not be forgotten. The bible says, 1 Peter 1:16, “Be Holy Because I am Holy.”
God expects purity and holiness from our lives. Holiness and purity can be said as a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. Purity not only in our public life but also in private life… times when we are alone…when no one is watching us.
Although purity is written as one of the last items on the list. Our lives wouldn’t be complete if we are not pure in the sight of God. We can do many things for God but none of that would be acceptable if purity and holiness are not part of the lifestyle.
You know, it’s easy to spot someone who is living a pure life. When people see that in us, they will be inspired and be motivated to live of purity and holiness.
Going through these list of things seem like going back to basics of the Christian Life. Often times these characteristics are forgotten and sometimes compromised. But what God always expects from us…is that we should be rooted and grounded in the basics. He expects us to be heroes in setting an example in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.