“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV) (This verse is the verse of the day (Oct. 26) from the Bible app YOUVERSION)
I am aware that the Apostle Paul is writing this to a young pastor named Timothy. I also am aware that not everyone is called to be a pastor. I am aware that as a pastor I am to be held at a higher standard than those not in the pastorate (church leadership role). But in my thinking this morning, I am wondering if this should apply to all followers of Jesus. Maybe this ought to be the mission of each believer as we live out the Word of God today.
When I was a teenager, I tried my hand at baking a cake by following the recipe (example, pattern). It had abbreviations like c for cup and Tb for tablespoon. There was one abbreviation that I was not sure of. It was the letter v. I will admit I am not a culinary genius but I thought I knew what the v stood for. Vinegar, right? I put in the amount of v called for in the example. But it didn’t taste very good when it was all done.
As we live our lives as followers of Jesus, we should set an example for our families, our church, and our community. Here is the recipe (example, pattern) we should use:
1. Our speech should be one that doesn’t sound like the world (even abbreviations on face book). If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a duck.
2. In life there are going to be some hard times coming our way. How we handle those hard times will reveal how much we trust God.
3. In love is not to be seen by how we love those who love us but how do we love those who mistreat us.
4. In faith is the demonstration of our commitment to Christ and His church.
5. Finally, in purity. One translation uses the word integrity. What is our life like when no one is looking? The believer should live like Jesus every day.
Let me encourage each of us by saying, we may not follow the recipe correctly all the time but we should do our best to follow the example set before us by Jesus. Whether you are young in the faith or have been on this road for a long time, strive to live as that example for those around you. That’s my point for today.