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5 Ways to Set an Example for Others

“Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. 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 4:12 (NLT)

When I was in college, I volunteered with the student ministry at my church. One day I went to a networking lunch for youth workers in the area. One of the leaders there pulled me aside, and in a not-so-subtle way, he told me I was too young and inexperienced to be a good youth leader. His words hurt so much I almost left the meeting and went home.

Have you ever experienced a similar situation? I'm going to guess we've all felt belittled at one time or another because of our age, experience, season of life, race, gender or economic status.

As believers, how should we respond when another believer questions our worth or makes us feel like we have nothing to contribute?

In today's verse, the Apostle Paul instructs a young pastor named Timothy on just such a circumstance. Instead of worrying about the opinions of others, Paul encourages Timothy to live a life that is an excellent example for others. He shares five ways Timothy, and I believe you and me, can go about doing this. 

Paul says to be an example in…

1. What you say. When Jesus was falsely accused, He took the high road by refusing to engage His accusers. Don't let people drag you through the mud. Sometimes the best response is not saying anything at all. (Matthew 26:62-63)

2. The way you live. Don't give your critics any fuel. Make sure you're living in a way that is above reproach. (1 Peter 2:12)

3. Your love. When others mistreat you, don't stoop to their level. Turn the other cheek. Be loving even when other people are unkind. (Matthew 5:38-40)

4. Your faith. Plug into your local church. Memorize Scripture. Spend time in prayer. Listen to Christian music. Make your faith a part of your everyday life. (Psalm 1:2-3)

5. Your purity. Don't look at or listen to inappropriate content. Set boundaries to protect yourself from falling into sin. (Philippians 4:8)

Don't take cues from what others think of you. Remember who you are in Christ and follow His example.  

Reflect and Respond:

1. Has there ever been a time when a fellow believer belittled you, questioned your worth or made you feel like you had nothing to contribute? Share your experience with the MyKLOVE community.

2. Of the five areas listed above, identify the one you need to work on most this week.