Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
A PORTRAIT OF A FAITHFUL YOUTH
Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Apostle Paul is painting a portrait of a faithful youth to his young minister of God Timothy. Apostle wanted Timothy to understand this portrait and to practice this when he ministers to the believers as a youth minister. Apostle paints these portraits in these verses and it is a portrait to all the youth to lead a faithful life for the Lord. Even though Timothy was brought up in this faith Paul reminds him about the false teachings that can distort the portrait of a faithful youth. Paul says ‘let no one despise your youth’. Paul clearly reminds this young believer and the leader about the possibility of being despised and advises Timothy to accept this portrait to have a faithful youth to the Almighty. Paul paints three portraits to show Timothy about a faithful youth.
A portrait of disciplined life: Paul effectively communicates that Christian life is a life of discipline. A disciplined life is that which is guided by the teachings and doctrines, which were given to him from the leaders. This discipline should be seen in meditating these things and teaching them to the fellow believers. Today we give little attention to a disciplined Christian life. We are expected to have a discipline in meditating the word, understanding the doctrines, ‘rejecting profane and old wife’s fables’ and teaching them to our co sojourners. Disciple is always with discipline and Paul exhorts his young minster to have a disciplined Christian life.
A portrait of devoted life: Christian life is a life with a strong devotion to what we believe and what we practice. Paul says you should be a ‘good minster of Jesus Christ nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine’. In this devoted life we have to ‘labor and suffer reproach’ and for this we have to fully trust in the Lord. Paul also reminds him by saying that if you follow this devoted life you will be able to ‘save yourself and those who hear you’.
A portrait of a divine model: Paul says to timothy that you should be model to the fellow believers. These days the term ‘model’ has been distorted and we think that we have nothing to do to become a model. But Paul is firm in saying that as young minister and believer you should be a model to the other people ‘in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith and in purity’. This is a portrait about a divine model that has to be followed by every believer. We often fail in these models and we have our own excuses by saying that we are ‘human beings’. But we have to trust in the grace of God.
Prayer: Lord, you are the perfect portrait to us and help us to follow that to live as disciple. Amen
Rev .V.M. Mathew, Youth Chaplain, New York