1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth…”
If there is one characteristic that should not describe a Christian, it would be “despicable.” It is hard to reach others and make a difference if you are despised! Now, if we are despised because of truth or our message, that is another story, but there shouldn’t be anything about us personally that causes others to turn away from us and the gospel we preach.
Paul is writing to Timothy, and in doing so, he charges him to carry himself in such a way that his life would not be a stumbling block or turn off to others. Timothy, as well as you and I, are to be examples to those around us. The verse breaks itself down into an easy outline to follow to keep ourselves from being despicable.
- In Word – The tongue is a little member like the Bible says, but what a big impact it makes!
- In Conversation – The daily conduct of the Christian can serve to sweeten the water or poison the well in the lives of others.
- In Charity – We cannot all sing or play an instrument or preach, but every Christian ought to be charitable. Love in action ought to be our moniker.
- In Spirit – Our attitude should always be that which would be Christ-honoring.
- In Faith – A personal walk with God and faith in God is more than words we say, it is a life we live. Every Christian should be an example in this area of faith.
- In Purity – Nobody wants to drink from a dirty glass. No matter the message, a filthy life can tarnish even the purest truth. Christians ought to live clear and clean from this world.
“Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” -John Wooden
ILLUSTRATION: Years ago the communist government in China commissioned an author to write a biography of Hudson Taylor with the purpose of distorting the facts and presenting him in a bad light. They wanted to discredit the name of this consecrated missionary of the gospel. As the author was doing his research, he was increasingly impressed by Taylor’s saintly character and godly life, and he found it extremely difficult to carry out his assigned task with a clear conscience. Eventually, at the risk of losing his life, he laid aside his pen, renounced his atheism, and received Jesus as his personal Savior. Whether we realize it or not, our example leaves an impression on others. -unknown