Timothy and Titus – Inconspicuous Leadership
Are you breathing? Are you moving? Are you still on the journey here we call life? Then you are a teacher. Whether we know it or not, like it or not…we are all teachers. Our lives tell others what we believe is important, what we think about often and who (or what) we trust and obey. Our lifestyle is a lesson. Our demeanor is our doctrine. Yes, our lives even predict where we know we are headed. We are what we think…not what we eat! Our lives teach others because someone is always watching us to see how life works. WHAT are we teaching?
Paul has a great message to his “son” in the faith about being a Christ-in-us example of living a life dedicated to God with boldness. “Don’t be timid about your faith, Timothy, for God gives us His Holy Spirit with power to tell His story!” Paul tells Timothy to “pass on” what he has been taught “as a good servant of Jesus”. Jesus, Son of God, came down from heaven, passed on the Truth of who God is and what He wants to his disciples to be and do, then laid down His life for us. Jesus was the Supreme Example. Paul, a life changed and transformed by Jesus, and lives imitating Jesus now passes the Truth to Timothy. This “passing it on” to those who believe and will believe is the reason we are alive in Christ today! Who or what teaching are we passing on with our lives? Everyone is watching. Do our lives make God smile?
1 Timothy 4, The Message
Teach with Your Life
1-5 The Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth. They will tell you not to get married. They’ll tell you not to eat this or that food—perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by believers who know better! Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out. God’s Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy.
6-10 You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the followers of Jesus there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.
11-14 Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.
15-16 Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation.
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLE #4: Teach with Your Life
A leader is a learner. We can only take others as far as we have been ourselves.
We are all called to exert a godly influence in a decadent society We are called to set a godly standard in a very ungodly world. We are called to communicate a godly message to a sadly deceived people. Sometimes we use words.
Question: How can we exert a godly influence if we ourselves are not godly? Answer: We can’t.
Personal purity will always remain as a priority prerequisite to knowing God. Why? When we forfeit our godliness, we shatter our intimacy with Christ. Yes, it’s that important to us and to those we teach with our very lives.
We are all ministers of the Gospel. Ministry is modeling. But we don’t have to starve ourselves! We feed on God’s Word, filling ourselves to overflow with His Story with a passion for pleasing Him. Then we model His Word with our very lives.
You are I are nothing less than cross cultural missionaries to the deceived world in which we live. A heart that seeks to please Christ burns with a desire to read the Word (“give attention the public reading of Scripture”), apply the Word (lifestyle) and explain the Word (teaching).
Living a life of integrity is a powerful life! What is integrity? I picture integrity as someone standing in front of any group of people anywhere, anytime, and allowing them to ask anything they want about his/her personal, private life. Integrity is the ability to answer every question honestly, without being ashamed.
Live to teach! The servant of Jesus Christ understands that he/she is helping to change the destiny of the world. This world seeks authenticity, the real deal. Our lessons must be lived out in our lifestyles; doctrine demonstrated in our demeanor; instruction illustrated in integrity; our message both seen as well as heard, visual as well as verbal. To speak a biblical message while refusing to live a godly life results in hypocrisy. Others will spot hypocrisy in us before we do.
Do you ever feel inadequate in passing on the Good News of Christ? JOIN THE CLUB! NONE of us walks on water. First Timothy 4 sets the standard. Don’t expect perfection, but we see to it that the direction of our lives moves toward the standard.
What change in life will bring you closer to the standard? Ooh, time to get real! Write it down. Ask God to transform you. I do this all the time. I need help. We all need help. Jesus saves. We pray. God works. His Holy Spirit is always with us. Live well through every circumstance.
‘”Pay close attention to….your teaching” (1 Tim 4:16)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for bringing us to a place of being honest with ourselves and honest before you. Continue to transform us. Transform your church. Transform the world. In Jesus Name, Amen