Set an example!

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Thursday, June 13, 2019


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

Since NBA superstar, Kevin Durant, of the Golden State Warriors, ruptured his Achilles tendons during Game five of the NBA finals, most people in the sports world have been singing his praises. Some of his praisers, however, are the same people who questioned his character and his courage while he was missing in action during the Western Conference finals and most of the NBA finals. In talking about this with my son this morning, he said that he was annoyed with the fickleness of most people. I told him that most people operate based on perception and assumption. They seldom have concrete evidence to substantiate their position, and for assassinating the character of others. That is why we each have to know our true self so we can have peace within even when others think the worst of us.

I told my son he has a responsibility to himself and to God to be the best he can be and operate in excellence so that he can make liars out of his haters. All the people who have been criticizing Kevin before his injury on Wednesday night of this week are proven to be liars. Because of Kevin’s commitment to excellence and his courage to demonstrate his skills courageously at the highest level, he has silenced his critics for a while.

In today’s text, Paul reminds Timothy not to allow anyone to look down on him because of his youth. Timothy was the Sr. Pastor of the growing church in Ephesus, which was a significant church in the first century. The Ephesian church was founded during Paul’s third missionary journey. Priscilla and Aquila were the first pastors of that church. It became the base of operations for the Apostle Paul in Asian Minor or modern day Turkey. The six other churches Jesus addresses in Revelation were planted by the church at Ephesus. The church had a great pastoral team over the course of time that included the Apostle, John. Many of the epistles were written to or about Ephesus, (Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy, I, II, III John, and Revelation) which speaks to its influence and importance in the first century.

It appears that many of the believers and leaders in Ephesus questioned the leadership ability of Timothy to be the pastor of such a prominent church. Thus, Paul reminded Timothy to be an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. I other words, Paul was telling Timothy to operate in excellence to prove his critics wrong.

You and I will get our share of criticisms no matter how well we perform. Some people will criticize us because of jealousy, envy, or simply because of false rumors. Whenever we operate in mediocrity, we justify their criticisms and give credence to the false rumors about us. The best response to criticism is not a well-crafted and eloquent retort. Rather, it is excellence in action.

Some people will continue to criticize Kevin Durant simply because he is a multimillionaire star athlete. Our success and fruitfulness in Christ Jesus will always make us the target of demons and demonic forces. We will always be under spiritual attacks from the enemy. For as long as we know who we are in Christ Jesus, we should not be distracted by these attacks no matter how personal they get. Instead, we have to set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. Then those who criticize us will have no credibility, and they will be indicted and convicted by the truth of Christ in us.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, please give us the wisdom to set an example for the people in our sphere of influence in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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