Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 NABRE
Paul is writing a letter of advice to Timothy, a disciple of his. Timothy is asked by Paul to stay in the community of Ephesus and instruct them to avoid improper doctrine, myths and speculations. We read Paul telling Timothy not to be intimidated by others. Timothy is younger than Paul. Paul is considered an Elder. Paul is likely in his sixties or later while Timothy is approximately forty. Paul’s instruction would have been read by Timothy and lifted Timothy as a leader. The letter would have been read publicly and have an impact on the community. They would hear Paul the elder giving authority to Timothy. While Timothy shouldn’t have any fear of asserting his authority, he should lead primarily by his example. Timothy’s conduct should be exemplary in speech and conduct. He should love everyone, demonstrate faith, that is trust in the Lord, and he should model purity, a combination of chastity, fidelity and integrity. As a leader Timothy has to stand above everyone as an example and not be concerned with what others think of him, but lead like Jesus.
This is a verse that many Youth Ministry leaders use to encourage their Youth members to not be concerned about their age. Though they are young they are full members of the church and they too should set an example that teaches others about Jesus. They should be exemplary in speech and conduct, they should love, trust God and be pure. A message that is a challenge for anyone, but especially teens, who are still trying to figure out who they are. But, if they do trust, they will receive the Spirit who will strengthen them.
Do you realize as a disciple you are a leader? Do you set an example in speech and conduct?As a disciple we are leaders who have to stand above everyone as an example and not be concerned with what others think of us, but lead like Jesus. Click To Tweet
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