Friday, May 10, 2019

1 Timothy 4:12 -- On Examples and Opportunities

"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
1 Timothy 4:12

The whole idea of setting an example for others is an important one.  We affect the people around us, and can help or hinder them without even interacting with them.  Jacob 3:10 gives us one example of being a bad example, but I am sure we can also think of some in our own lives.

Aside from good and bad examples, I think God also sends messages to people through us that we didn't even intend, and sometimes aren't aware of.  We can say something to someone, thinking of it as banter, but they take it to heart and it changes their lives... and that isn't us.  That's God.  ... Because we can affect the people around us so much, it is important that we are careful and gentle with others.  Not because we need to avoid offense at all costs, because even Christ, a perfect man, had people that were offended by him.  Rather, we need to be careful that we aren't *intentionally* offending or harming people.  As long as we are doing what we can, then the part that we can't control, God can handle.

Even though God is handling it, he still works through us, which is why we need to stick with the spirit, be open to promptings, and be generally kind.  If we are prepared, and listening, we can take advantage of great opportunities when they come along.  Missing those sort of opportunities, or not being fully prepared for them, can be some of the biggest tragedies of our lives if we remember being prompted to do something, and finding out later just how important that missed opportunity was.

Today, let's be an example, and be ready for God to work with and through us.  Let's work to be prepared for the miracles that God can perform through us, if we are paying attention and doing good.

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