“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
If you are on the staff of a church, you are an example to someone. You may just think of yourself as a secretary, or office worker, but in reality you are more than that. Just being “on staff” makes you an example and a leader. You need to accept it, and allow it to affect what you do and how you behave.
You ask, “Who is watching me?” or, “to whom am I an example?” There is someone in your church who wishes she had your job, or wants to be just like you some day:
- Children and teens (yours or someone else’s)
- Newer Christians
- Newer members
- Parents of your children’s friends
- School parents
- Folks in your adult class
- Folks who sit near you in church
Are you a good example?
A godly influence is one who moves others onto God’s agenda. Before we can influence others toward godliness, we ourselves must be under God’s influence—seeking God’s direction, obeying His impulses, and being where we’re supposed to be so God can use us. If you are moving toward God, someone is probably following you.
A godly influence:
1. Encourages a Closer Walk with God
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1–3
- Encourage wise choices—encourage ladies to seek godly counsel, love their husbands, and be faithful to the Lord and church.
- Encourage “God-ward” thinking—remind others of God’s love; weave godly topics into conversations.
- Encourage Bible study and prayer.
2. Is a Need-filler
So often we are guilty of not noticing. Instead, we need to stop, look, and ask questions. This is where love kicks in—do you love enough to act or just have empathy or sympathy? When you say you will pray for someone, don’t fail to do it!
Influence grows when we show compassion. We must model compassion, like the Lord did in Luke 10:37, “And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” Genuine compassion powerfully affects those who receive it, those who give it, and those who observe it. You can offer to babysit for a young mother, or help in a financial way if you can, or just a smile, hug, or note can communicate compassion.
3. Is Trustworthy
Keep confidence. Be careful about sharing news. Be careful not to gossip. Repeating facts can lead to gossip (James 3:6; Proverbs 26:20–22).
- Gossip = habitually retelling behind the scenes information
- Gossip = idle talk about others, regardless of fact
- Gossip = saying something about someone that you know he/she wouldn’t want said—regardless of whether or not it is true
Be intensely loyal, and always give others the benefit of the doubt.
4. Is a Real Example
- In word – our words should build, not tear down
“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Colossians 4:6
“For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
- In conversation = lifestyle
“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;” Philippians 1:27
- In charity = compassion
Do you love enough to take action?
- In spirit = attitude
Attitude is contagious (good or bad)! Is this your attitude: “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:8)?
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28
- In faith
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
- In purity
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Let’s determine to be a positive friend, mentor, and influence in our offices, churches, and communities.