"You are the only bible some people will ever read." This phrase is quoted in many places and used to demonstrate how much of an impact we can have on others. It’s a scary and sobering thought. If we follow the command in 1 Timothy 4:12, however, we will be a successful witness to those around us.
1 Timothy 4:12 says, "Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou and example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." There are some interesting ideas here, Paul seems to be saying that people cannot despise someone who is young, if they are spiritually mature. Simply stated, if you want to be respected, be Christ-like. Another important idea to recognize is that we are to be an example of the believers. But how?
God wants us to be an example in word. Our words must be conformed to Christ-likeness. He says in conversation. This means lifestyle. He continues with saying that we must be an example in our love for others, in our attitudes, in our unshakeable belief in Christ, and in our ability to stand untainted by sin. That’s a lot to be an example in.
No matter who you are, people are looking up to you. Believe it or not, someone is. I would like to challenge you, mature yourself. Ask God to make you an example of the believers. Pray often and get in His Word. As you meditate on God’s holiness and strive to be like Him, he will change you. Make Christ your example, so when others follow your, they will not be led astray.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." – Matthew 5:16