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Summary: set an example for the believers in word, in life, in love, in faith and in purity

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Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in word, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Paul, an elder minister of the Gospel, exhorts Timothy, his young protégé. His advice is intensely practical, and applies to any of us who are called to lead from within the congregation, or in our homes, or in our workplace.

Paul's exhortation to Timothy, his young son in the faith is to be an example (tupos- τύπος γίνου-become a model) for the believers.

Young people are looking for examples, someone that they can admire and pattern their lives after.

God has called you to model Christianity for them.

In Word You must be very careful about your language. (my experience with students)

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:29-30

Listen, for I have worthy things to say;

I open my lips to speak what is right.

My mouth speaks what is true,

for my lips detest wickedness.

All the words of my mouth are just;

none of them is crooked or perverse. Proverbs 8:6-8

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

Jesus said

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:34-37

UPS & mental vocabulary-I worked many jobs in college. One in particular had foul-mouthed coffee breaks. I heard foul language every day, and even though I had worked out of the habit of using foul language when I was a teenager, I found that exotic words came to mind when I faced tense situations, like someone cutting me off on the freeway. I had to submit my mind, not just my mouth, to the LORD, so that the reservoir of vocabulary in my mind was clean. Otherwise, my mouth was in danger of being filled with garbage.

“If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.” Albert Einstein

He may have been right, but the Christian approach to words is a bit more proactive.

We can claim we are leaders, but the reality of our spiritual leadership will be shown in our words. If we are truly leaders, our words (both private and public) will be pure, kind, loving, and inspirational.


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