‘Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.’ 1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV
It is interesting that some of the most expensive items in the world are not always aesthetically appealing to the average person, but much value is placed on them for their perceived intrinsic qualities. Similarly, the uniqueness of a believer is contained in those intrinsic qualities influenced by the Spirit of God.
The difference, however, is that the intrinsic qualities that make a believer unique have discernible expressions. One of such qualities is being ‘full of the spirit’. Along with being an example in word, in conduct and in love, Apostle Paul also charged Timothy to be an example in Spirit (1 Timothy 4:12).
This was one of the qualities that distinguished Stephen, Philip and the other 5 men that were selected to serve as deacons and to whom was appointed the responsibility of daily distribution of food in the early Church (Acts 6:3). The criteria for that assignment was to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.
The exemplary believer is one whose zeal and fervour for the things of God are discernible; they are obvious for all to see. Hence, one of the things we must aspire to allow to shine through our lives is our passion for God, for the work He would have us do and for the people with and for whom to do the work.
To be an example in Spirit also speaks to the quality of being yielded to the Holy Spirit. We can live our lives void of contradictions when we allow the Holy Spirit guide our lives. He produces in us fruits that are consistent with the very nature of Christ which deeply influence our speech and conduct in this world (Galatians 5:16-26). Such a life is filled with integrity and sincerity, qualities that win respect and admiration from believers and non believers alike.
Lastly, being an example in spirit is reflected in our conviction about and our demonstration of the gifts of the Spirit. When the disciples were scattered by persecution, Philip went to the city of Samaria and it was recorded that there was great joy in the city because of the message he preached to them and the miraculous signs he did (Acts 8:1-8).
The same testimony was recorded about Stephen; he performed amazing miracles and signs among the people and those that debated with him could not stand against the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke (Acts 6:8-10).
So, you are instructed, just as Apostle Paul instructed Timothy, to be an example in Spirit. Yield to the Holy Spirit and let the influence of His presence in your life be evident. Do not be slothful in business, but fervent in Spirit, serving the Lord. God bless you.
Bible Reading Plan: 1 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 13-16