1 Timothy 4:12 “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.”
In today’s world so many people struggle with relevance. The questions that many times run through our mind, “Do I even matter to anyone,” “Does anyone care about me,” “Would anyone even notice if I were gone?” all have to do with relevance. Our importance, significance, or value is what we are wanting to know. When you read the statement, “Know your worth,” it means do you know how valuable you really are. What we are really asking is, “are we important to anyone?” The answer that we tell ourselves makes all the difference in the world as to how we live our lives and the people that we impact every day.
For every single believer, whether in the Old Testament or in the New Testament that is mentioned by name, there are at least a thousand or more that are not named. So does that mean that they are less important than those we know by name? After David stood over Goliath and cut off Goliath’s head with Goliath’s sword, thousands of Jewish men, soldiers, chased and defeated the Philistine army. Just because they are not named does not mean they are less important. Someone had to be David, and others had to fulfill their duties and roles.
Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost and preached to thousands of people who came to Christ, yet there were 120 assembled in the upper room when the Spirit descended and the believers spoke in tongues. Because they are not all named does that mean they are any less significant than Peter? Absolutely not!
While we identify with different Biblical characters and how they faced their difficulties and challenges, we are no more insignificant than they are. This is especially true with God and his view of us. Jesus died on the cross and paid for Moses’ sins. He paid for my sins too. He paid for your sins. The ground at the foot of the cross is level. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This means that each of us are equal in our significance to God.
People in our lives are influenced by our reflection of Christ. We can increase our influence for Christ and thus increase our impact for eternity. When Paul wrote to Timothy, “Be thou an example of the believers,” he was saying that it was time for Timothy to realize his value to God and increase his impact on those around him.
We all like to have people we look up to and want to emulate. Whether it's Michael Jordan in basketball or Jeff Gordon in Nascar racing, it's great to be able to look at another person and say, “I want to be like them.” That is why teachers, pastors, community leaders, etc. all have important roles, because they have greater influence opportunity. Their influence can be positive or negative. Dads and moms are objects of affection for their children. This means that their significance and opportunities for influence are concentrated and can have great impact.
Paul told Timothy to be an example of the believer in different areas of his life. As other believers and lost people interacted with Timothy, they would see his reflection of Christ more and more and want to be like him. This was good since he was also a spiritual leader.