“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NIV ’84
Most of the time when we look at this Scripture we think of how Timothy was young and dumb and in love (That’s a Matt Kearney song), but a lot of the time we miss out on the application of this verse. We tend to look more at the beginning of the verse. I know I do.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young! It’s like a battle cry for young generations. What we tend to lose is the why people shouldn’t look down on us.
People shouldn’t look down on us, instead we should set an example for them to look up to.
The implications to that statement are heavy. We, as Christians and especially as Christian leaders, should be the people that others look up to. Paul gives five different reasons that people should look up to us. I’m going to do my best to show how each of these look in our lives daily. So, this will be a five part series starting with our speech.
Our speech is so important. When we say things, people listen. What we say to people, about people, and in response to people can either build up or tear down.
I’ve had to learn this the hard way.
I tend to say things before I think. If you did not know, that’s usually bad.
Once I met a girl named Shoot, but her nickname was Shooty. I immediately started to sing, “Shooty, Shooty, Shooty, rockin’ everywhere”. Not my best decision.
I didn’t mean anything mean or bad by that, but it could be taken that way.
Our speech is important because it is the first thing people know us by.
As a Christian leader our speech should leave no room for people to look down on us. Rather, it should point people to Jesus and make them look up to us as we look to Christ.