“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity..” Those were the Apostle Paul’s words to his young protegee Timothy. In essence Paul was issuing Timothy the “ultimate challenge:” to live a life worthy of the life Christ had given him. God gives us the same challenge, and I want to share with you in a little more detail about these character qualities.
Language today has become so crude and coarse. It seems as if people no longer have a filter on their mouth! Almost anything goes and we see it from the bars to the pulpit. You must be careful about your words what you say and how you say it.
This is the way you live and walk out your life. It’s your behavior or your lifestyle. Our life should be such that we bring honor to Christ. Character does matter. Live your life in such a way that someone might say about, “I didn’t know she was a Christian, but ‘it doesn’t surprise me.'” This is a way of showing your life in Christ rather than “telling” about it.
The type of love we are to have in our live is a divine, God like love. It is a love that is all-absorbing and all-consuming. It is the supreme command of Christ. All of the Law is summed up in loving God and others. When we love, we will not hurt or take advantage of others. What does this love look like? 1 Corinthians gives us a glimpse:
- It’s patient
- It is kind
- It doesn’t envy nor does it boast
- It’s not proud
- It’s not rude
- It’s not self-seeking
- It’s not easily angered
- It keeps no record of wrongs
- It doesn’t delight in evil
- It rejoices in truth
- It always protects
- It always trusts
- It always hopes
- It always perseveres
- Love never fails!
This is a reference to your temperament. People are often identified by their temperament. You’ve heard it said that “He has a gentle spirit,” or “She has a grumpy spirit,” or “He’s mean-spirited.” Remember, people are watching you. And the way you act or treat others is a reflection of what’s on the inside so act accordingly.
It’s hard to convince someone to “trust God” in a time of crisis, if they aren’t already trusting Him in their daily lives. It’s important for us to be an example of faith and trust in God everyday and especially during a personal crisis. Just remember don’t panic. Speak God’s Word and His strength, love, and understanding. Know that He will deliver you.
Paul told Timothy to flee from youthful lusts, or in others RUN! Sexual innuendos surround us and it is a constant challenge to “abstain from the very appearance of evil.” Yet that is what we are to do. Be an example of purity of mind, heart, and conversation.
You are challenged with setting example and standard that will lead others to eternal life. Are you up to the challenge? I pray you are.
— Pastor Temple