Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. – 1 Timothy 4:11b
In the second half of this letter to the young evangelist, Timothy, Paul tells his protégé, the importance of being a good servant of Messiah. He tells the young man to not let people bother him about being young and to live out a life of exemplary behavior before all people, particularly those of believers.
Paul’s advice to Timothy is some that applies to every person on the planet. It has extreme importance to us believers because Paul’s words coincide with similar advice Jesus gave the 12 apostles. He said for them to let their lights to shine before men in order that they may see the apostles’ good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven.
Paul’s advice to Tim was for him to set the example for fellow believers in his speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. We don’t see much of this being taught anymore in churches because churches have aligned themselves with the culture of our day rather than take a stand and live out humble lives that mirror and imitate the life Jesus did while here on earth.
Paul teaches us elsewhere to imitate his behavior as he imitated Messiah’s conduct. So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1)
The end goal of our lifestyle should be one that imitates Messiah. We call ourselves Christians, which means Christ-like. Therefore, as Paul told Tim, the Holy Spirit through Paul tells us to set the example for all believers should live. Our lives should be ones that reflect a life without reproach. It may not be easy, but it is the right and only way to live.
Father, blessed are you Holy One of Israel. You are supreme and above all. Thank you for speaking to me today about my speech and conduct before believers and unbelievers alike. There should be no difference in how I life out my life before anyone. My speech and conduct should emulate yours as you walked on this earth, LORD Jesus. You came to show us how life can be lived and should be lived – one full of grace, love, mercy and compassion. Help me to foster these things in my life, and may all who encounter receive them. I want to be more like you daily. Until I spend eternity with you, I am going to need the counsel and assistance of you, Holy Spirit. May the will of the Father be done. Amen.