“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
It should be evident that God often used young people to accomplish great things! I believe He can do much through young people today, but what kind of young people can He use?
Paul exhorted Timothy to be an example of those who believe i.e. a model or pattern and by so doing he would gain the respect of his people.
A vibrant youth will gain respect from people if his integrity in words is unshakable. A man’s speech reflects what is in his heart. All types of sinful speech must be avoided by a man of God. That includes any deviation from truthfulness, as Paul makes clear in Ephesians 4:25 when he says, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor.” Nothing more surely reveals a sinful soul and more swiftly destroys a leader’s credibility than lies. Absolute honesty is essential for one who speaks on behalf of the “God who cannot lie”.
He would be an example in conduct. A disciple of Christ is required to be a model of righteous living that manifests his biblical convictions in every area of his life. A biblical message paired with an ungodly lifestyle is nothing but blatant hypocrisy. Worse, people will tend to follow how the man lives, not what he teaches. On the other hand, a godly life brings power and authority to a man’s message. James writes, “Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom” (James 3:13).
The vibrant youth should be an example in love. Biblical love is far different from the emotion our culture calls love. It involves self-sacrificing service on behalf of others regardless of how one feels. The excellent youth gives his time and energy to the people he is called to serve, devoting his whole life to seeing them strengthened and built up in the Lord.
He serves faithfully wherever he is, a disciple of Christ consistently faithful. He does not swerve off the track; he does not deviate from his course. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:2 “It is required of stewards to be found trustworthy.” This essential virtue of loyalty separates those who succeed in having a powerful influence from those who do not.
Garment of Praise
Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.
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