Who Is The Example

by: Josh Goddard

1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

The trend of today’s youth is to avoid association with those who are recognized as their leaders and examples. The average teen is constantly reaching out to the hero who is unreachable to them or that is “forbidden” by their authority. The rock star, professional athlete, Hollywood actor or newest MasterChef is the example set up by the modern day teen. The teenager aspires to be like their chosen example and tries their very hardest to reject those who they should be following. The church and parents lift up one set of examples and the world lifts up another. Which one will you choose?

I would like to present that these are not the only two choices. There is a third. Why don’t you become the example? Why can’t the young man or young lady be the one who the professional athlete looks to for an example? Young man, why can’t you be an example of purity to the Hollywood actor? Young lady, why can’t you be the example of love and kindness that the adults around you need to follow? I propose, young people, that you be the example.

Your parents need an example to follow. Your peers need an example to follow. Your “heroes” need an example to follow. Your siblings need an example to follow. Why not be that example? Show the soldier struggling with his marriage that goodness and kindness should be a part of his life. Be the example! Show the college graduate that even though life may be hard you can continue through with a good attitude.

The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers…” Too often the young man or woman is “despised” because of their age. I say, let’s not give anyone a reason to despise us. You be the hero! You be the one who the adult can look to. Live your life in honor, in decency, and with faithfulness and diligence. You may not have much responsibility, but you can take the things that God has given you and do the best that you can.

1 Samuel 16:17 says, “And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.”

Saul was not asking for a boy, he was looking for a professional, an example. Who stood out? The youth! It wasn’t the man who had been playing for 30 years. It was the shepherd boy.

Young-Preachers-of-AmericaNumbers 25:7-8 says, “And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.”

When it came time for someone to stand up against the wickedness of a nation, it was not the father, nor the son, but the grandson who set the example and saved a nation.

When Lot and Abraham’s herdsmen were fighting, it should have been Lot who came to Abraham and not the other way around.

It was the Paul’s nephew who showed courage to uncover the plot to slay his uncle.

It was a very young John who had the courage to follow so close behind when Jesus was arrested, that he was almost caught.

Be the example!

You may not be able to be the example in marriage, parenting or athleticism, but you can be the example in the areas that God has given to you.

God tells us in 1 Timothy 4:12, that we are to be the example of the believers in our speech, our manner of living, our good will toward others, our attitude, our faith (belief and trust in the Word of God), and our cleanliness of life. This may seem impossible to you, and you may not even feel like trying, but wait! Not only is it possible for the teenager to be the example, but it is God’s desire that the youth is chosen as the example.

1 Samuel 2:26 says, “And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.” Wouldn’t you love to be “in favour both with the LORD, and also with men?” Will you be like Samuel and surrender to live a life worth choosing?

Jesus gave us a great guide to follow. John 13:15 says, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” Jesus showed us how to live. Now the question is, will you be the example that the world and the believers so desperately need to follow?

Josh Goddard
Youth Pastor
Faith Baptist Church
Wildomar, CA

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