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  • Joe Norton

Be an Example (6/30/2024)

First in a series of studies of Paul’s instruction to Timothy

 

“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” (1 Timothy 4:12).

 

Sounder advice has never been given than what Paul gives to the young preacher here. Timothy was young, but he was sent out to preach the gospel; and Paul, as his spiritual father, wants him to be successful in his endeavors.

 

The advice to this young preacher is that he should never live his life in such a way as to give anyone a legitimate reason for not listening to him—just because he is young. He must have the respect of his listeners if they are to take him seriously.

 

Young people sometimes make bad judgments and do things they later regret. And these actions give people reason for questioning whether they should pay attention to their teaching. Paul doesn’t want that to happen to Timothy.

 

“Be an example” is good advice not only for young preachers but actually for all preachers—and for all Christians. To have the greatest influence among our peers, we must let every aspect of our lives emulate what a Christian is to be. Then we can have our greatest influence.

 

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