A Good Example
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 118:1-4 | Jeremiah 33:1-34:22 | 1 Timothy 4:1-16 | Proverbs 25:23-24
Today’s Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 4:1-16
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV)
Paul had mentored young Timothy and sent him out on a mission to Ephesus to stand up to some false teachers. There is some indication that he was timid by nature, so this may not have been an easy job for him. Nonetheless, he was Paul’s choice for the job. He tells him not to be intimidated by others, but instead to set an example for them.
First, he was to be an example in speech—the tongue betrays the true condition of our hearts. His whole lifestyle, too, was to set an example and was to show the reality of the truth within. He was to be an example in love—especially showing love to those who were opposing him and causing controversy. His example also was to extend to issues of faith and to purity.
Paul also urges him not to neglect his spiritual gifts. He should preach and teach and read the scriptures publicly. He cannot do this in his own power; he needs to rely on the Lord for his strength and empowering.
Perhaps you are a young person, like Timothy. Don’t be intimidated. Set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. You will be a shining light to your generation—and an encouragement to us all.
Yet whatever your age, the principle rings true (Indeed, it would have been a given to Paul that we should look to the example of those older than us). We live in a day looking for people of integrity—examples we can follow. Take Paul’s advice to heart:
“Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”