1 Timothy 4:11-16
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Anyone who has known young kids understands that what we do teaches them more than what we say. Parents often cringe as they see their behaviour play-acted or repeated by their children. Although we may hide it better as we get older, we still imitate others, and sometimes justify our behaviour by what others do.
In this passage Paul is emphasising the value of living out our Christian faith by being a good example in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. Paul’s language shows how important this is. He says, “Be diligent”, “give yourself wholly to these matters”, “watch your life and doctrine closely”, “persevere in these matters”. Why is it so important? Because our good example says more to others than preaching to them, just like children noticing what their parents do.
Growing in godliness is a process that will continue for my whole life. I am all too aware of the times I fail in what I do and say, but I know that the Holy Spirit is with me, helping me become more like Christ.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your grace. Thank you that you forgive me when my behaviour is not a good example. Please help me to grow in godliness so what I do can lead others to you.
Written by Megan Cornell