Let no one dispise 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 (NKJV)
Today we will focus on the first part of this verse: "Let no one dispise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word," One thing that I find so amazing in this verse, is that it says we are to be an example to the believers. Just reading this verse, we would expect that it would say we need to be an example to unbelievers. However, that is a given. What strikes me as amazing is that despite our age, we are to be an example to those believers who are our age, but also to those who are older than ourselves. We would often think that those older than us would be more mature in Christ, and thus they would be an example to us. While this is often the case, nonetheless, there are obviously instances in which we are the ones who are to be examples for the older men and women in Christ, or else this command would not have been issued.
One thing from this verse that I want us all to grasp, is that we continually and daily must check ourselves to see if the way we are acting and whether or not the things we are saying are shining forth as a good example or not. Even if we are just at home, we have a huge responsibility to be a good example for our siblings, especially our younger ones. They are at a most impressionable age, and often tend to copy those older than themselves. Therefore it is so crucial that we be a good example to them. Throughout the day when we are with them, we are to be a godly, God-fearing role model that they will be able to copy. Matthew 18:6 shows this cruciality: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Not only must we always check ourselves to ensure that we are being godly examples to our siblings, but we must be so careful to ensure that we are being good role models for those believers and unbelievers who are among us, be it at church, at the groery store, at the post office, at the mall, at the gas station, at the movie theatre, or wherever else it may be where we are around others. The world is watching us, and it is therefore vitally important that we are salt and light when among them. But we also must remember that this verse commands us to be examples to the believers! We must put into practice now, being godly role models daily for those believers around us.
That said, I'm now going to move on to the first area in which Paul says we are to be examples-in word. This covers a lot! As we find in Proverbs 31:26, the Proverbs 31 woman "opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness." She speaks with wisdom!! She is not involved with idle talk, but when she is in conversation with someone, she is rather speaking wisdom into their lives. Idle conversations profit nothing, and this wise woman understood that! She used every conversation she entered into to be profitable for that person to whom she was speaking. Our Lord and His precepts were continually a part of this lady's conversations. And that, dear friends, is how it should be! Yet despite this truth, most of our conversations revolve around ungodly gossip, slander, etc. Even if we aren't talking in sinful ways such as the ones I just mentioned, we're still often talking about things which have no lasting importance. This should not be, precious sisters in Christ!!
And with that, I'm going to be forced to close for now, and pick up right back where I left off on Wednesday. This, as you can see, will actually be a 7 part series now, as I'm having two devotionals on being an example in word. :) Please come back Wednesday, for the continuation.
Many blessings to you all!