Set an Example

There are many reasons that we talk ourselves out of doing something that we know that we should do. I know that, for years, I thought that we should be moving onto the mission field, and said so to several friends. Gina and I had talked about it, but we never really took a step forward because we had no idea what to do. We had no one to lead us down the path. We didn’t feel worthy to do it either. We didn’t know that we could do it, so we talked ourselves out of it. We weren’t encouraged to do it, so we didn’t do it.

But could we have done it? Yes, of course. We could have done exactly what we thought we were supposed to have done regardless of what other people did or didn’t do. There were reasonable reasons that we didn’t go, but that didn’t necessarily mean that we did the right thing.

Many people do many things, few of them for the good others. In fact, it is an unfortunate truth that people frequently try to tear others down more than they try to build them up. Therefore, we have to make decisions for ourselves regardless of what is happening around us, what we want to do about it, and the direction that we believe God has for our lives. It is important to listen and take wisdom from others, but at the same time, we have to make decisions about what is right.

That is similar to the situation that Timothy found himself in while working in Ephesus. The elders had laid their hands on him to commission him in his work. He had learned under Paul, and now Paul had sent him to continue the work that he had started.

But Timothy is still young. He has had several experiences in working for the Lord, but he started very young when Paul found him and brought him with him from Lystra amongst the Galatian churches. At this point, it seems that, because of his young age, people do not always want to listen to him. They do not want to follow the leading and the teaching that he is giving.

So Paul spurs him and on and encourages him to continue in the faith and the work that he had been sent to do:

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. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

1 Timothy 4:12-14

We need to move ahead in the work and in the giftings that we have been given. We can’t talk ourselves out of the work that God has given us to do. There is work to do in the kingdom of God. We must diligently continue in it. Regardless of how you feel, regardless of what others might think, regardless of their judgments, it is important to wisely move forward in what God has called you to do. With counsel, with wisdom, but also setting an example by doing what you have been called to do.

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