Read 1Timothy 4:12-16 carefully. Vs. 12 says, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Example means: a die (to cast); stamp; print, shape, form, a model for imitation. As Believers, we should live our lives as models for imitation. We should be examples to others, and practice what we say we believe. Let’s see what the Bible says on this issue.
We heard a great Gospel song Wednesday night entitled “Your Walk Talks Louder Than Your Talk Talks”. Many of us Christians have forgotten that if our walk does not match our talk, then our talk doesn’t amount to much. Of course I’m not talking about “sinless perfection”, where a Believer reaches a point that they no longer sin in thought, word, or deed. There is no reason to believe this is even possible while you are in this mortal, corruptible flesh.
However, the other extreme seems to be the norm today; which is a Believer’s walk hardly agreeing with their talk in any way! A lukewarm, fruitless, carnal Christian does more damage to the Kingdom of God, than any full blown lost sinner ever could. That’s why Jesus said He would rather a person be COLD than LUKEWARM!
A lukewarm Christian plays the part, but doesn’t have a new heart. They claim they’ll love Jesus to the end, but the world seems to be their best friend. They’ll talk about all the Scripture they know, but strangely enough, it never seems to show. They honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him (Mk 7:6). They say they know God, but in works they deny Him (Titus 1:16). They talk about how much they love God, but their hearts are wicked (Ezk 33:31).
Our walk must match our talk. We must seek to practice what we preach. “This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practice ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people” - C.S. Lewis. “How many prodigals are kept out of the Kingdom of God by the unlovely character of those who profess to be inside!” - Henry Drummond.
1Pe 5:2-3 “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, … Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being examples to the flock.” Tit 2:7 “In all things showing thyself a pattern (example) of good works… . Php 3:17 “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” St. Augustine once said, “With their doctrine they build, and with their lives they destroy.” John Bunyan said, “Saint abroad, and a devil at home.” “It is a sad thing to be Christians at a supper, heathens in our shops, and devils in our closets.” - Steven Charnock. We should not wear a mask. We should not pretend or play-act. That is the definition of hypocrisy, contrary to popular misconceptions.
Paul said in Php 4:9 “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do… .” He also said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Can we say the same? Are we living in such a way, that we can turn to our spouse; our children; our friends - and say, “Follow me, as I follow Christ?” Again, it doesn’t mean we will ever be perfect, but our walk should match our talk. 1Jn 2:6 “He that says he abides in him (Jesus) ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” I dare not say I am the perfect model of this, for I fall terribly short more often than not. But it is my heart’s desire to be like HIM - not just know about HIM.
Jesus gave us an example to live by (Jn 13:15). Let us not just accumulate Theology in our brains. Allow that information in our minds to affect the heart, and then result in corresponding action. May it be who we truly are. We are not to be a different person on Saturday night than we are on Sunday morning. Walk your talk. The following poem by Edgar Guest really clarifies this point. I pray you are blessed by it.
“I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I'd rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way. The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear, Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear; And the best of all preachers are the men who live their creeds, For to see good put in action is what everybody needs. I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done; I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run. And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true, But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do; For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give, But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live."