Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12
Young Michael came running inside and screaming with tears in his eyes and threw himself on the ground “Daddy, Daddy. Kaylie’s got my toy!”. “Why are you shouting Michael? You are the big brother. Set an example for your younger sister.” Dad responded.
If you are the older of siblings or have interaction with a similar family structure, most likely you would have heard something of similar fashion. There seems to be some natural onus on the mature to act and be a good pattern for the less mature to follow.
As Christians, we all ought to act as big brothers. Paul in his encouragement said
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” – 1 Cor. 11: 1
Christ is the perfect pattern for our lives. We should ensure his light is reflected in our lives (Matt. 5:14).
To young Timothy, Paul instructed six (6) ways in which we ought to guide and be an example:
1. IN “WORD”
Paul here refers to being an example in speech. In our personal conversations and public teaching we must speak the truth with grace.
2. IN “CONVERSATION”
Paul here refers to being an example in the manner of life. In our conduct we should display holiness & humilty.
3. IN “CHARITY”
Paul here refers to being an example in love. We should portray brotherly love, affection, good will, concern & have a benevolent attitude.
4. IN “SPIRIT”
Paul here refers to being an example in our zeal. Our service towards God, his word & one another should be one that is fervent.
5. IN “FAITH”
Paul here refers to being an example in faithfulness. Our assurance and loyalty should be unquestionable. We should be found dependable.
6. IN “PURITY”
In our thoughts and actions we should exemplify pureness (a freedom from impurities). Chastity of body and mind.