Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers
in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
– 1 Timothy 4:12
Timothy was a sincere young man who earnestly desired to serve the Lord. Yet certain weaknesses in Timothy’s life hindered him from serving God confidently. Timothy was very young to be a religious leader, and apparently some doubted his abilities. Timothy had a tender nature and was sickly (1 Tim. 5:23). His was an inauspicious beginning for a young minister of the gospel in an age of persecution!
Paul urged Timothy not to allow his youthful insecurity to blunt his zeal and faithfulness in doing what God had told him. Rather than arguing with those who criticized Timothy, Paul urged him to live as an example of godliness. Paul advised Timothy to live a life that was so spotless in word, conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity that his life could serve as a model of others in the church to follow. Timothy’s life was to be the evidence that God had called him. God looked beyond Timothy’s youth, timidity, and physical weakness and saw his sincere heart.
As you seek to follow God’s will, you may identify with Timothy. Perhaps some things about you seem to disqualify you from serving the Lord effectively. You may be sensitive because you are a new Christian or because you come from a sinful past. Perhaps you have little education or money or social status. You may have previously experienced failure in your service for God. Don’t allow this to intimidate you from following God’s will. Your area of weakness may be God’s means of demonstrating His strength (2 Cor. 12:9). Allow God to demonstrate His call upon you by transforming your life into a model of godliness.
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group.