“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
Take a minute to read the entire chapter of 1 Timothy 4 to get a grasp on how Paul admonished Timothy. If Paul instead had said, “We need a volunteer” do you think Timothy would have stepped forward?
Paul was wise enough not to give Timothy the idea that he was serving as a volunteer. Instead, Paul spoke to Timothy as a wise mentor, tutor, and encourager. The entire chapter aptly captures the confidence Paul instilled in Timothy. Essentially, Paul was saying to Timothy, “Live out what you believe and let others see you doing it.”
Who can live without encouragement? I am not referring to the pat on the back that comes with completion of a physical fitness test, or the cheering of the crowd as you stride across the finish line at the end of a 10K, or even the congratulations that accompanies a well-deserved promotion (as good as those things are!). I am talking about the encouragement that comes from one who is fully vested in your daily walk with the Lord.
What mentorship lessons might we learn from Paul and his heartfelt concern for Timothy?
- Have confidence in what you are doing, stick to your calling, and be the example.
- Encourage others to live out their calling-even when it gets tough.
- Good mentors express genuine, in-your-face concern. Encourage others to wrestle, struggle, and endure.
- Express a do-whatever-it-takes commitment to see a task through. Live out what you know the Lord has called you to do.
- Mentors like Paul remove ambiguity and confirm the path of the one being mentored with gentle reminders that his or her efforts are also for the good of others.
- Who needs your tutelage and encouragement? Let’s imitate what Paul did for Timothy. Instead of asking for volunteers, encourage others to fulfill their calling.