Set a good example (1 Tim. 4:12)

“Let no one despise

Your youth!

Set the believers

An example

In speech,

And conduct,

In love,

In faith,

And in purity.”

μηδείς σου τῆς νεότητος καταφρονείτω, ἀλλὰ τύπος γίνου τῶν πιστῶν ἐν λόγῳ, ἐν ἀναστροφῇ, ἐν ἀγάπῃ, ἐν πίστει, ἐν ἁγνείᾳ.

Paul said, “Let no one (μηδείς) despise (καταφρονείτω) your youth (σου τῆς νεότητος)!  Set the believers (τῶν πιστῶν) an example (ἀλλὰ τύπος γίνου) in speech (ἐν λόγῳ) and conduct (ἐν ἀναστροφῇ), in love (ἐν ἀγάπῃ), in faith (ἐν πίστει), and in purity (ἐν ἁγνείᾳ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀναστροφῇ that means behavior, conduct, life, or manner of life.  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word ἁγνείᾳ, that means purity or chastity.  Paul insisted that the first thing that Timothy should do is set a good example in his speech and conduct.  He had to practice what he preached.  He should be an exemplary follower of Jesus Christ with his love, faith, and purity.  They should not belittle him because of his young age, since Timothy may only have been in his thirties, certainly not an elder.  Paul insisted on a connection between word and action.  He wanted a loving, believing, and pure leader whose actions would speak louder than his words.  Do your actions speak louder than your words?

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