v 12. Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
Lest we think that purity is simply an inner quality, Paul is at pains to tell Timothy that his life should demonstrate it. These three qualities, love, faith and purity are to be modelled by Timothy so that believers can see a living example of what it means. Now that is a tough assignment for any leader! What the leader models is perceived to be the way a Christian should live. The language used, the energy exhibited in following Jesus, the quality of loving relationships developed with other people – all these are noticed; they are the subliminal messages that go along with the public announcement of the Gospel. There is no room in Christian leadership of any kind for a life that does not match the spoken message – in fact, in any kind of leadership anywhere, including politics, words and proper actions must convey the one message. In the Church or Christian context, marked differences between what is said and what is done are quickly spotted and the word ’hypocrisy’ is soon bandied about!
Lord, strengthen and help me to be pure in mind, heart and action. AMEN