11. Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.
12. Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
1 Timothy 4:11–12 NLT
Today’s passage continues on with Paul’s admonitions to his young protégé, Timothy, as he takes the Word of the Lord and the Proper Traits, and Standards for a Christian Leader to the Church at Ephesus. In his lessons to Timothy, Paul has been quite thorough in his instructions, providing him with a comprehensive list of Qualities, Behaviors, and Characteristics that are required prior to Leadership in the Church.
Paul is ensuring that not only Timothy but all those that serve under him are prepared for whatever eventualities come at them and that despite his young age, he is not looked down upon by those he has been sent to Lead.
In Verse 11, Paul makes sure that Timothy knows that what he is about to tell him is important to impart to those in Leadership positions in the Church. His age is of no consequence in the eyes of God and therefore it should have no bearing at all on his God-Given Authority within the Church. He says clearly and in no uncertain terms in Verse 12, “Let no man despise thy youth;” which is saying, in other words, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.”
Paul has sent Timothy, without him there to back him up, to a Church that is struggling in both terms of Doctrine and Spiritual Stability. In order for him to effectively administer the lessons and instructions that Paul has given him, Timothy has to establish and maintain Authority and Trust. For this to happen, especially given his youth, he had to gain the Respect of those he has been sent to Minister to.
In a Paternal society, where experience and maturity are reverenced, this could have been an issue for the young man, especially given the time period they are living in. However, Paul, understanding all this, and never leaving his young protégé without Proper Guidance, has his Leadership well in hand.
In the second portion of Verse 12, Paul ensures that Timothy has the blueprint on how to Command Authority as a young man in the Church. It’s quite simple really. First of all, he has to be an Example. Timothy has to Model the Traits and Standards that he wants to see in those that he is promoting to Leadership Positions.
There is no other way to ensure that those under your Authority know for sure that you are a Trustworthy and Adequate Leader. You must first show forth your Faithfulness, Purity, and Love but those Traits have to be displayed in Conversation, Word, and Deed before you can expect anyone to follow your lead.
Once again, we see Paul offering Timothy, in his absence, the Leadership that he is going to need to Lead the Church of the Living God. Without all of these Lessons and Instructions, Timothy may well have failed in his attempts to mold the Church at Ephesus in the Proper Characteristics of the Faith.
Losing the Church at Ephesus would have meant a great blow to the growing Religion that would one day become the Faith we hold to today, so it was was of utmost importance that Timothy be provided with the best Guidance that Paul could provide.
The fact that we are still teaching his lessons today proves the veracity of Paul’s Leadership. The Standards and Traits that Paul taught Timothy still hold value today and we would do well to follow Paul’s Guidance as Christian Leaders over 2000 years later.
Have a Marvelous Monday and Stay Safe out there!