Brianna Schieffer’s Life Verse – 1st Timothy 4:12


The Life Verse that God has gifted me with is 1st Timothy 4:12. This verse says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” This essay will explain that the author is of the letter and book of 1st Timothy is Paul. It will include who he is, his social status, and why he wrote 1st Timothy. This report will also talk about what 1st Timothy means, literally, contextually, and interpretatively. Why God gave me this verse, how, when and why I recieved it, what it has meant in my walk with Christ, and how it applies to my life will also be included.

    The apostle Paul wrote the book of 1st Timothy. He was the son of a Jewish Pharisee. He was from the capital of Cilicia, Tarsus, which was a Roman province in the southeast of Asia Minor. Paul’s trade he learned was the making tents from goats’ hair cloth. After his incounter with the Lord, he stuck to spreading the gospel and starting churches all over the world. Paul used to be a pharisee which is that day was very upper class. His status was also his claim to fame. Early in his life, Paul did not want have anything to do with the Lord. He pursecuted Christians until he had an encounter with God. After the Lord confronted him on his way to Damascus, Paul had a very close relationship with God. What influenced Paul to write this letter to Timothy was that Timothy was about to start his minestry. 1st Timothy is a letter of guidence and instruction. 1st Timothy 4:12 was relivent to the culture because at that time, older people were were looked much higher on then the younger youth. This verse was immediatly intended for Timothy because he was about to start churches and begin his ministry.

    1st Timothy is a verse of instruction. When it states, ‘to look down’, it literally means to think against, despise, that is, disesteem. An ‘example’ is a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning). When its says, ‘believers’, it means the trustworthy and faithful people to God. ‘Speech’ is something said or exclaimed and ‘love’ is charity or affection. When states ‘faith’ it means persuasion, that is, the acceptance of truth or moral conviction. In this verse, ‘purity’ means cleanliness. Contextually, 1st Timothy 4:12 is when Paul was instructing Timothy to not let anyone look down on him because he was young. Instead, Paul wanted Timothy to set an example in his speech, life, love, faith and in his purity for other belivers. He wanted Timothy to teach this to others as well. There are many interpertations of 1st Timothy. Wesely’s interpertation of 1st Timothy 4:12 is: ” Let no one have reason to despise thee for thy youth. To prevent this, Be a pattern in word – Public and private. In spirit – In your whole temper. In faith – When this is placed in the midst of several other Christian graces, it generally means a particular branch of it; fidelity or faithfulness.” The College Press interpretation is, “As apostolic representative, Timothy must gain the respect of those to whom he ministers. The virtues Timothy is to model will offset the handicap of his youth. There are five areas in which Timothy is to demonstate the virtuous life. All of these virtues show a contrast between the behavior of Timothy and that of the false teachers. First, ‘in speech’ refers to the everyday talk of Timothy. He is not be be argumentative but rather is to be known for his wise words. Second, ‘in life’ (better ‘in conduct’) represents a call for the proper lifesytle. The third and fourth, ‘in love’ and ‘in faith’ represent two of the basic Christian virtues included in every such list. The fifth area for virtuous living is ‘in purity’ or ‘in chastity,’ perhaps given as a contrast to the false humility and asceticism of the false teachers.” My interperation of 1st Timothy 4:12, is that when Paul is telling Timothy to teach this verse to everyone, to not lets others look down on you because you are young. Because Timothy was instructed to teach it, I think we should also teach it so everyone would know this verse and its meaning. Everyone should know that what they say (speech), how they live (life), how they treat thing (love), how they trust (faith), and how they think (purity), impacts everyone around them.

    I received and have liked this verse for a couple of years ever since the seventh grade. I first remember hearing this verse in youth group when our youth pastor spoke on it. This is when it really started meaning something to me. This verse has helped me in my walk by giving me encouragement to stay strong in the Lord when I am with others that are older. This verse applies to my life because being only 15 and a freshman, there are many older people that I am with and that are apart of my life. This gives me a chance to show them who I am in the Lord and be an example by the way I choose to act and live my life.

    In conclusion, 1st Timothy 4:12 can be applied to everyone’s life. For the younger generation, to not let people look down on them, but to set an example. For the older generation, not to look down on younger people because their age does not always define their maturity in Christ. The youth can can be young but still have a great relationship with Christ and can therefore be a witness to non-believers.


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